The UK government and the professional body for HR and people development “Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development” (CIPD) have joined forces to launch an e-learning tool that companies can use to educate their workforce about cyber security.
The new e-learning module which is free, and is funded by the government’s National Cyber Security Programme has been launched as part of a wider partnership between the government, HR professionals, and security professionals with the aim of promoting the importance of cyber security at work.
The launch appears to be well timed as it comes in the wake of some very high profile security breaches such as those at TalkTalk (reportedly losing them over 100,000 customers), and JD Wetherspoon. There are also new EU data protection regulations coming into force in 2017, and failure to comply could see companies facing penalties as well as the financial, legal, reputational and human consequences of falling victim cyber crimes. The fact that the tool has been developed with the help of government and security experts highlights how sophisticated cyber criminal activities are becoming, how many more cyber security targets companies must meet (for governments, stakeholders and insurers), and how some practical help is now really needed to help companies get up to speed with and stay on top of the whole subject.
Reducing Human Error
At the heart of the launch of the new e-learning tool through HR is the fact that an individual’s knowledge about cyber crime could be a key factor in whether or not they take actions that could compromise the security of the whole business. It can also have a strong bearing on whether they become a victim of cyber crime in their life outside of work.
Based on Research
The government and businesses are all too aware of the research that shows that most online / IT security breaches are staff-related and result from employees’ not knowing or understanding the risks, potential mistakes and / or matters of compliance for the company / organisation. The motivation for companies to take advantage of the new free learning tool should be all too apparent when considering the 2015 UK government figures that show that the costs of severe online breaches start at £1.4m for large businesses and can reach as much as £310,000 for small businesses.
The focus on HR being central to the introduction of the new e-learning tool is not just because HR professionals handle sensitive personal data, but also because they are responsible for recruiting, managing and developing the workforce in organisations.
Information about the Cyber Security for HR Professionals course can be found here on the CIPD website here.