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5 Cyber Security Measures That Your Recruitment Company Can Implement Now

Because of the sensitive data that they process, coupled with the fact that many recruitment companies are SMEs that may lack the resources and time to focus on developing their internal cyber security, they can be a promising target for cyber criminals.

We’ve created this blog to give you a quick checklist of things that you can do to enhance your cyber security posture in alignment with the UK’s Cyber Essentials scheme. After implementing these measures, your business will have:

    • A lower risk of data breaches and successful cyber-attacks happening to your business.
    • More peace of mind and an ability to focus on delivering for clients and customers.
    • A closer alignment with the UK’s Cyber Essentials framework – a certifiable scheme that helps businesses to build an effective cyber security posture
    • Lower risk of damage in the event of a cyber incident.


1. Establish Strong Password Policies

Passwords are one of your key lines of defence, yet it can be surprising how many businesses use weak passwords that could be cracked or breached. It’s essential to create and enforce strong password policies that keep your users’ accounts safe, and those of your candidates too.

What You Can Do:

    • Use Tools to Enforce Complex Passwords: Ensure passwords include letters, numbers and symbols and have a minimum length of 12 characters. You can use password managers or inbuilt tools such as your Microsoft Active Directory account’s settings to enforce complex passwords in your business. Unfortunately, if you only use Microsoft 365 with Active Directory, the password policy feature is limited to editing password expiry date settings.
    • Regular Password Changes: Mandate password updates at a minimum of every 3 months.
    • Use Password Managers: Password managers can make many aspects of managing and creating passwords easy and secure and could prove to be a useful option for your business.


2. Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-Factor Authentication involves a user verifying their login credentials across multiple trusted channels to gain access to an application service. MFA can make all the difference in preventing data breaches and unauthorised access in your IT environment.

What You Can Do:

    • Enable MFA on All Possible Systems: List out your applications where you have user accounts, and ensure that MFA settings are activated on as many of them as possible at the level of administrators and users.
    • Educate Employees: Take some time to educate your staff on the importance of MFA and ensuring it is used on their accounts.


3. Regular Cyber Security Training for Staff

Most successful cyber-attacks such as phishing occur as a result of human error. By training your staff about how to detect and respond to threats, you can significantly reduce the risks of cyber incidents occurring.

What You Can Do:

    • Scheduled Training Sessions: Hold regular cyber security awareness sessions for your team internally or by using a third party provider.
    • Simulated Phishing Tests: You can use simulated phishing tools to test your team’s ability to detect and respond to varyingly clever phishing attempts.
    • Ongoing Education: Keep an eye out for new kinds of cyber threats and educate the team about them and how they work.


4. Keep Data Encrypted

Data encryption is crucial for protecting sensitive information from being intercepted during transmission or accessed by unauthorised eyes when in storage. It helps to ensure that even if data is compromised, it remains unreadable to cyber criminals.

What You Can Do:

    • Encrypt Sensitive Data in Storage: You can roll out and apply tools like BitLocker to encrypt data stored on your agency’s devices.
    • Use Secure Channels: Think carefully about using public Wi-Fi spots or texting a CV using SMS. Instead, use tools like VPNs and encrypted platforms such as Microsoft 365 to communicate data.


5. Regular Software Updates and Patch Management

Outdated software presents considerable vulnerabilities for a business, as they will be running behind in terms of knowledge and tools for recognising and addressing the latest cyber threats. Regular updates for your software and patch management tools can help you to identify opportunities to roll out updates and ensure that your vulnerabilities are minimised.

What You Can Do:

    • Automate Updates: Where you can, configure your applications to update automatically across your user accounts and devices.
    • Use Patch Management Software: This software makes it easy to systematically manage updating and patches across your business’s registered devices.
    • Ensure All of Your Software Is Supported: A prominent example right now is that Microsoft’s complementary support for Windows 10 will be ceasing by October 2025. The end of support for a software will mean that security updates will cease to be offered for them which can present many vulnerabilities over time.


Bringing It Together: Data Protection, GDPR Compliance and Cyber Essentials

Data protection is a legal requirement under GDPR. Cyber Essentials provides one GDPR aligned framework for businesses that can help them to secure their key cyber security fundamentals across five key controls.

Getting certified under the Cyber Essentials scheme offers a valuable form of social proof to candidates and clients alike, and creates other advantages such as £25’000 of automatic cyber insurance coverage, lower cyber insurance premiums generally, as well as safeguarded growth and relationships.


What You Can Do:

In a nutshell, you can empower security, data protection, and GDPR compliance by going through the Cyber Essentials scheme:

    • Partner With an MSP: An MSP such as our team at Virtual IT can help you to prepare your business, and help it to get smoothly secured and certified under Cyber Essentials or the Cyber Essentials Plus schemes.
    • Implement the Five Key Controls: Apply the five key controls across your business and document them. For Cyber Essentials Plus, an external auditor will also check your business’s implementation of the five key controls.
    • Get Assessed: Once implemented, you can submit your documentation for self-assessment or get assessed by an external auditor. In either case, an MSP can help you to prepare and get assessed seamlessly.


Final Thoughts

By implementing these five key cyber security measures, you can give a solid boost to your cyber security posture and data protection measures for your recruitment agency fairly quickly. Of course, they won’t be a silver bullet on their own and cyber security is an evolving field.

However, one cost-effective, holistic and streamlined way to enhance competitiveness and your overall cyber security posture is to get assessed and certified under the Cyber Essentials scheme. If you’d like to find out more, book a meeting with Virtual IT today. We hope this blog can help your recruitment agency to ensure it remains secure in today’s digital world.


Virtual IT: Trusted Cyber-Security First Technology Partners

Based in London, Virtual IT are a trusted IT partner to over 700 businesses and schools across the UK with a leading cyber-security first approach. We provide a fully managed IT solution focusing on proactivity, strategy and security. We help our clients to tap into the wealth of advantages that secure technology can offer to them. See how in our case studies. 

Want to see the difference Virtual IT can make for your business? Book a meeting with us today, we’ll be glad to support you with any tech challenge that you’re facing.