Human Resources Training

What are the likely cybersecurity trends for 2016?

Cybersecurity is the top concern for those who share their personal data with healthcare and other service providers. Any loss of data is not good for the provider as well as for the one who shared data with them. It denudes confidence in the provider, yet cyberattacks are yet to be prevented. Cybercrime is a major concern for organizations that have to rely on personal information from its consumers. A study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute put the average loss incurred by a data breach at close to $ 4 million, with the likelihood that this is going to go up in the years to come.

What are the trends for 2016?

As far as cybersecurity trends for 2016 are concerned, the major trend is for enhancing cybersecurity, as has been the case for many years preceding it. All the available platforms for transmitting information across the web are likely to be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Cybersecurity trends for 2016 thus need to ascertain how cyberattacks and hacks can affect these mediums.

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Cloud technologies are likely to be the area that is going to be most prone to cyberattacks in 2016. This is not to suggest that any unique event or happening in the previous years pointed to this trend for 2016; it is just that with the emphasis on the cloud by most IT companies; the cloud is more and more likely to become a target for cyberattacks. The fact that the cloud uses third party vendors for sharing information with makes this so. This makes the cloud among the hot topics for cybersecurity trends for 2016.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is likely to take over as a major medium of cyber activity. We are likely to have Internet data emanating from everything ranging from our hearts to agricultural fields. While this promises a whole new dimension of technology; there is also the major possibility that it could spawn cyberattacks. A watch on IoT is certainly among the major cybersecurity trends for 2016.


Systems to replace humans for tackling phishing

Phishing has been and continues to be a major source of cyberattacks. Smart operators use this tool to penetrate into sensitive data and wreak havoc. The solution is to have systems and technologies that will detect any attempts at phishing and inform the concerned organizations. Till now, this was being done by humans. The movement towards automating a system’s response to cyberattacks from phishing to enhance effectiveness is sure to count among the cybersecurity trends for 2016.


There is the emergence of ransomware, a method by which cyber attackers hold data to ransom, so to speak. Unless an agreed upon ransom is paid; they don’t let go of the data they have held with them. This needs a highly alert cybersecurity system to counter. Given the ease with which this can happen; ransomware is sure to figure among the cybersecurity trends for 2016.


Common myths about conflicts in the workplace

Conflict at the workplace is a very common phenomenon. Just like there are no couples without a degree of disagreement with each other over some or another issue; there is almost no workplace that is free of conflicts. Although conflicts at the workplace are universal; many organizations suffer from a few myths about them. These are some of the common myths about conflicts in the workplace:

Conflict at the workplace is bad: No. It is not necessarily so. If there is anything that is bad about conflict at the workplace, it is the way it is handled, and seldom the conflict itself. Conflict has to be seen as a healthy exchange of opinions and perspectives among employees towards an issue or work. Conflict is not something that is to be wished away or eschewed, but something that needs to be analyzed for what it is: a means to bring out the divergent opinions and interests of the people involved.

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Conflict situations will iron out eventually by themselves: This is a huge misconception and counts among the common myths about conflicts in the workplace. How can a situation even itself out unless it is addressed? No issue that is capable of resolving on its own would arise in the first place. When conflicts arise, the worst attitude that HR can show is to avoid looking into it and resolving it. HR has a primary role in conflict resolution. It has to take it by the horns, so to speak. It should view conflict as a means for understanding the organization better and steer clear of common myths about conflicts in the workplace.

Conflict resolution leaves a bitter taste in the mouth: Absolutely not, if the conflict is handled maturely and professionally by HR. Many employees tend to think that grudge is a necessary result of conflict resolution and that it leads to greater and bigger exchanges in the future. This is not at all so, if HR has the gumption for resolving conflict in such a way that the employees feel it was a lesson learnt so that they can sidestep the situation that created conflict, or can use it as an example for resolving future conflicts.

Conflict has to be resolved then and there: Not necessarily, unless the situation demands it. Conflict usually builds up over time, and it is natural that it has to get resolved too, gradually.

It is wrong to argue in a conflict: Again, this should also count among common myths about conflicts in the workplace, because it is plain wrong to assume that the person who argues is not worth talking to in a conflict. Argument is a natural human trait. Some people have this tendency more, while others do not. HR has to understand this aspect of the nature of the people involved in a conflict and see to it that it resolves the argument, and with it, the conflict.

Conflicts happen because the leader is loose: This is among the most common myths about conflicts in the workplace. Many people tend to think that conflict can never take place in an organization in which the leader exercises tight control. First of all, someone who exerts this kind of control on the team cannot be considered a leader, for a leader does not believe in controlling people. Coming back to the point, conflicts can happen even in organizations in which the leader lets employees have freedoms.




Human Resources Training

Want to become a great leader in 2016? Try these.

It is the time when we get down to making resolutions for the year ahead. 2016 has just begun, and this year has had its share of people making resolutions that range from making a foreign trip to earning a raise to making visits to orphanages more frequent.

As far as leadership is concerned, many have reasons to make their own resolutions. Is there something in 2016 for leaders specially? Is it that the New Year has potential for leadership in a way that no other year had? Not really, this New Year is like any other, as far as leadership is concerned. So, what is there that a leader can do to become a great one this year?

Quite a lot, if one looks at the opportunities that lie ahead for leadership for this New Year. Yes, as we just saw, there is no milestone or incident or event in particular that is set to happen this year, such as enactment or fulfillment of some milestone legislation or materialization of some breakthrough technology. Yet, the year that just went by was not disappointing for the American economy. So, it is on this premise that the potential for leadership for the New Year is built, which makes it look rosy.

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To become a great leader in 2016, leaders and wannabe leaders can instill a few new outlooks and mindsets. Let us look at some of these.

Stay on course: Staying aligned to the company’s vision and strategy is the most important factor for becoming a great leader in 2016. This of course, is true for all years. At the start of each year, a leader needs to look back at how stuck she was to the organization’s goals and priorities. Good leadership is about remaining focused in the face of severe pulls and pressures that could turn one away from the goal. Remaining focused on the road ahead while being aware of what went wrong till now and working on how to overcome this is at the root of attempts to become a great leader for 2016.

Think of the big picture: Not letting trivial matters bother or pull one down is another hallmark of leadership. For 2016, why not look at this issue from the organizational viewpoint? What is my organization up to? How do we plan to go ahead and take it towards its chosen aim? What is my role in it? How do I take my people along and use their abilities to achieve this? These could be some of the questions one needs to ask oneself while trying to become a great leader in 2016.

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Be honest and create new leadership: This is one of the prime requisites of a leader. Unless one practices transparency and impartiality in one’s dealings with people in the organization and outside, not an iota of respect is going to be gained. Likewise, even while being the leader of the organization is of paramount importance, it is equally important to create new leaders. These may be influenced by one great leader, but they need not be clones of that original.

Cultivate likeable qualities: To all these, many supplemental qualities such as being polite, caring, listening well, humble and other related ones may be added to become a great leader in 2016.


Some ways of screening potential employees

Screening forms a critical part of HR’s work. This is a core work because the consequences of having an employee without the necessary screening can be most detrimental to the organization. Imagine having skipped the criminal record of an employee who goes on to cause some irreparable damage to a fellow employee. Let us say HR overlooked the financial irregularity a new employee had committed in a previous organization and does the same here. In situations such as this, everyone in the organization suffers. This is why screening potential future employees is an exercise that is vital for the organization and something that is well worth investing time and effort on.

Important hurdle

The most difficult challenge of carrying out effective screening of future employees is that no method is completely foolproof. A smart crook can always find ways of circumventing the law and suppress many major events in his past life to camouflage it at the time of interview or later.

Some ways of ensuring effective screening of future employees

Ask for professional references

Many employees think that offering references from friends or family is a way of completing the formality. This is hardly an effective means of ensuring the character of the future hire. A professional reference, such as from a senior colleague, a manager to whom he reported, a professor who taught him and so on, are good reference sources. It is important for HR to follow up with these people in time to make probing and insightful enquiries about the nature for the candidate.

Look for professional services

A professional detective agency is a reliable source for carrying out background checks on future employees. They may cost substantially depending on the kind of information sought to be elicited, but they are certainly useful and worth the expense. These agencies can get to the root of a candidate’s history.

Be compliant with laws

Laws such as The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) have been enacted to protect the individual’s right against invasion of privacy. HR in organizations needs to be very careful in keeping this in mind, or it can invite lawsuits.