Three-quarters of employees want HR to take more of a lead on information security in the organization, according to new research from data loss prevention company Clearswift.
The vendor interviewed over 4,000 employees in the UK, US, Australia and Germany and found a large majority believe that better HR policies and practices could help prevent data breaches.
Three-quarters of respondents said those who leak sensitive corporate information should be disciplined by HR, while 70% said references should include mention of any part a prospective employee might have played in a previous data breach.
In a parallel survey of 500 IT professionals, 68% said training was the best way to reduce the risk of a breach – again something the HR department could help coordinate.
Clearswift vice president of products, Guy Bunker, argued that HR can help the security function by rolling out training programs, tweaking policies and dealing with malicious insiders.
“All too often they are seen as ‘hire & fire’ – but they can be used to provide so much more value. Our research found most security professionals don’t see this changing until their organisation is hit by a major security breach,” he told Infosecurity.
“The problem is mostly one of willingness and understanding. Data is still seen as very technical, but in reality data isn’t always a complex trove of 0s and 1s – it’s your new business spreadsheet, customer credit card database, patent applications, employee salaries etc. It’s tangible things stored on your network. Once people understand this, it’s often much easier to get them to appreciate the importance of behaving securely.”
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