It is often assumed that it is the IT team and the IT alone that need to be concerned with a strategy to counteract cybercrime. Of course, the IT team and the cybersecurity specialists in your business do have a significant role to play in keeping the company protected against these sorts of attacks. However, they are not the only department that needs to factor this into their strategy.

The HR department needs to consider how the business’ recruitment strategy can have an impact on the company’s ability to withstand sophisticated cyber attacks. Here we take a look at some of the ways that your company’s recruitment strategy can be planned and used to help you overcome and mitigate potential cybercrime. 

1. Understand the current challenges

It is, unfortunately, the case that there are challenges when it comes to recruiting for cybersecurity positions in your company. No matter whether your business is large or small, you will naturally encounter the issue of the cybersecurity skills shortage. There has been a shortage in the labor market for a long time, and despite efforts, the problem doesn’t appear to be getting any better.

Indeed, recent figures indicate that there is currently a shortfall of 2.72 million qualified cybersecurity staff. This means that there are consistently far more cybersecurity positions available than there are professionals with the relevant experience and qualifications to fill those roles. 

We have already mentioned that this can impact businesses of all sizes. However, there is the argument that small businesses are more likely to suffer than larger businesses, as smaller companies simply lack the budgets to compete in such a competitive jobs market. 

cybersecurity skills shortage
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2. Prioritize high-quality cybersecurity staff

What the cybersecurity skills shortage ultimately means is that if your business wants to hire the kind of skilled security staff that you need to keep you protected against hackers and cybercriminals, you’ll need to prioritize the issue. It is the case that the majority of business leaders are unaware that there is such a significant issue surrounding cybersecurity.

It is up to IT teams to make it absolutely clear to those in charge that without sufficient investment in quality cybersecurity workers, the business is acutely vulnerable to attack. Indeed, companies need to come to terms with the idea that they may need to up their budget in cybersecurity just to be able to stay competitive with other companies. 

For every company that isn’t willing to put in the spending, they will have competitors who are. And it is those competitors who are more likely to survive a significant cyber attack. 

3. Focus your onboarding process

It is certainly the case that one of the key places that your recruitment strategy and HR team can impact cybersecurity is by ensuring that there is a thorough onboarding process that takes cybersecurity into account. It is a great idea, for example, to ensure that anyone who joins the business should be provided with a breakdown of the cybersecurity features that the company uses.

Additionally, it can be very wise to provide all new starters with training. This training can provide a solid foundation for their cybersecurity best practices and can help to minimize the possibility of staff making mistakes that lead to cybercrime. 

It is sadly the case that human error is still to blame for the massive majority of incidents of data breaches. Some studies have even suggested that human error is a factor in around 90% of all data breaches. Prior to training on-boarders, ensure your own HR data storage systems are safe. Your Human Resources Information System (HRIS) needs to be secure enough to protect your staff’s personal data which is vulnerable to identity theft and other potentially damaging data breaches.

4. Recruit security-conscious staff

It is vital to understand that it is not only the case recruitment of cybersecurity specialists that is important. As we have seen, human error is a crucial cause of data breaches. It is vital then to make cybersecurity a key factor when thinking about other staff. No matter their role, it is important that candidates should understand cybersecurity and display that they are aware of its importance. 

5. Avoid turnover of staff

It is also important to make staff retention a key part of your recruitment strategy. Team continuity is completely key when it comes to issues like cybersecurity, as when you have a team that all understand the most notable cybersecurity challenges, they can help you defend against them. 

Losing lots of staff all at once can play havoc with your ability to defend against cybercrime. 

6. Know when to outsource

It is important to understand when you definitely need to bring someone in-house, and when it could be more effective to hire an outsourced, outside perspective. 

For example, there are some cybersecurity roles that are actually far better to be carried out by outsourced businesses rather than in-house. A good example of this is penetration testing. Pen testing is a form of ethical cyber security assessment that seeks to identify, safely exploit and help to remediate vulnerabilities across computer systems, applications and websites’. In short, it sees cybersecurity specialists using the same techniques as criminal hackers to see if they can find weaknesses in the system. These weaknesses can then be mitigated or fixed before cybercriminals can exploit them. 

If you have this carried out by staff in-house, it runs the risk of not thoroughly testing all aspects of the system. Also, your team can only put the defenses and procedures in place that you know about.