Unfortunately, the recruitment sector is always open to attacks from cybercriminals. Government figures show that, in the last 12 months, at least 69% of large businesses have identified data breaches or cyber-attacks. The most common form of attack is phishing but, perhaps shockingly, a fifth of large businesses also reported breaches resulting from unauthorized access by people already working within the organisation.
All recruitment agencies must safeguard sensitive information and stay compliant with relevant terms specified in the Data Protection Act. This takes knowledge, skills and teamwork, so it’s always worth knowing a few of the most integral steps involved in the process.
Why are recruitment agencies more vulnerable to cyberattacks?
In large-scale recruitment agencies, the internal risk is just as real as that of external scammers and hackers. The industry itself is especially vulnerable due to the immense amount of sensitive data stored on clients and candidates. Remote working and high client turnover both increase the volume of client data and meetings, plus the likelihood of human error.
Recruitment agencies store passport details, education history, contact information and employment history: everything a criminal might need to steal someone’s identity. Knowing how to mitigate the risk is essential.
5 Steps to Preventing Data Breaches in Recruitment
1. Employee training
All employees must be thoroughly trained on data protection. Ensuring full compliance backed with comprehensive knowledge of best practices is the only way to guarantee that your team knows how to reduce the risk and respond to the threat of a security breach. One example is Lumify Learn’s Cyber Security Course if you plan to upskill some of your employees as cyber security professionals.
2. Secure data management
Maintaining data integrity is imperative. Data must be stored, handled and eventually disposed of in the correct ways – and securely, above all. Limited data collection is recommended; it’s not looked upon kindly if a recruitment firm collects more sensitive data than necessary. In addition, many look into recruitment agent insurance as another way to add layers of protection to their operations.
3. Robust cybersecurity measures
All recruitment agencies should use secure, updated systems and install high-quality security software. Antivirus and anti-malware software is readily available on the commercial market, so it’s prudent to get all online systems protected. If you use online application forms, you should protect your website with SSL technology.
4. Regular system audits
It’s also important to monitor and audit system data access to make sure that only authorized employees have been able to access sensitive candidate information. Two-factor authentication is recommended for internal systems, but organizations should also review access permissions frequently.
5. Thorough background checks
Lastly, no company wants to fall victim to a scam that originates from inside the organization. Unfortunately, this is a possibility in all industries, so it’s crucial to thoroughly check the backgrounds of prospective staff before hiring them. You might choose to extend this procedure to a full DBS check for extra peace of mind.
In any industry, protecting candidate data is imperative. Recruitment agencies face even more complex challenges throughout this process since large teams work seamlessly across an even larger database to share and consolidate important candidate information. It’s important, then, to be proactive in shoring up your security.