Enhancing Security with IT and HR Collaboration

When it comes to data security in any organization, it’s usually the IT department that is responsible. However, some experts believe that IT departments shouldn’t be solely tasked with these responsibilities. In fact, better security protocols require closer collaboration with multiple departments – especially Human Resources.

For example, a recent security breach at the FDIC resulted in over 44,000 customer records being accessed. This included personal identification numbers, along with other essential information that was illegally placed on a USB drive. This unlawful intrusion, however, was not the work of remote hackers, but a departing employee. While no apparent harm was done – the ex-employee returned the drive the next day – this is just one of several instances where security was compromised between two departments.

Similar Security Breaches

The Wall Street Journal reported that the FDIC experienced at least seven similar breaches in the past. However, many employees were authorized to access the information – just not take it home with them. With this in mind, the FDIC has stepped up its data loss and security measures to prevent instances like this from happening again. In addition, industry experts believe that stronger collaboration between IT and HR departments could have prevented these mishaps all along.

With stronger collaboration between IT, HR, and other departments, organizations are able to:

  • Ensure all private information remains confidential between departments
  • Prevent unauthorized scans, downloads, uploads, and placing of private documents onto flash and thumb drives
  • Instantly receive notifications within shared computer networks about possible internal or external breaches
  • Secure a formidable defense against disgruntled or departing employees that want to hack systems out of revenge

IT Security Training

While these recent security breaches are considered “human” problems, the fact is that people are the weakest links in the security chain. Most IT departments put all their emphasis on cloud-based technologies, hardware components, and software apps. This is why so many people within organizations simply do not know where they stand when it comes to security protocols and procedures.

In order to ensure that everyone is on the same page, IT departments must take the initiative to train all personnel and employees. This is vital for ensuring:

  • Appropriate departmental access to private and discreet documentation/communications
  • Maximum correlation and collaboration between departments that utilize the same hardware, software, and files
  • That all employees remain on the same page when it comes to overall security guidelines and rules
  • Optimal communications between departments; HR should inform IT when certain workers are leaving and vice-versa

By working together with other departments, IT can reduce the number of intentional or unintentional security breaches. Most times, employees are simply not aware of what they can access – and what they cannot. Similarly, HR needs to be more productive in keeping IT teams aware of any possible issues with existing or departing employees. This is the only way to ensure the right security platform across the board.


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