In Praise Of Toby Flenderson: Data Privacy As A Function Of HR

Author:Ms Martha Zackin
Profession:Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Originally published in BCP Business Centre

HR could use better PR.   Say "human resources" and some people think of Dunder Mifflin's joy-deficient Toby Flenderson from "The Office."  But you know better and appreciate the job your HR team does to keep your organization up and running.  They're also a critical line of defense between your company and the onslaught of data thieves and scammers.  The BCP Business Center has a special page to make their job a little easier.

Why should HR be a part of your data security efforts?  Think about what's in their files and on their computers:   W2 forms, health records, insurance information, and the like.  High-profile hack attacks grab the headlines, but consider the effect on morale if a lost laptop or stolen folder compromises an employee's Social Security number.  As a longtime leader in information security, the FTC has bread-and-butter resources to help companies develop data security policies suited to their size and line of work.  Protecting Personal Information:  A Guide for Business and the accompanying online tutorial is one place to start.

Of course, data security is every employee's job.  Whether it's the mail room staff knowing to send sensitive paperwork by the safest method or the CEO who could use the occasional reminder not to email a confidential memo over an unsecured wireless network, everyone has a role to play — including your HR department, which is often the contact point for new hires.  Work with them to incorporate data security into your orientation program.  Rather than starting from scratch, check out our Privacy & Security page for materials you can adapt.

If an employee has been the victim of identity theft, HR may be...

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