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The number of cyber attacks being perpetrated against small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) rose from 18 per cent to 30 per cent in 2012, and some experts believe this increase could be driven by the fact that smaller companies tend to have less security measures in place than large enterprises.
Writing for HR Magazine, Symantec cyber security manager Paul Wood says human resource (HR) managers are now being targeted by hackers as they represent an easy entry point into a company's network.
Because HR managers deal with large numbers of unsolicited job applications, they are more likely to open an email from an unknown sender or click on a link or attachment contained within these messages.
This makes them particularly vulnerable to cyber attack, with criminals tricking them into opening a link disguised as a CV, which then results in their computer becoming infected with malware.
In addition, part of HR managers' job is to store employees' personal information, therefore making them particularly attractive targets for hackers involved in the exchange and exploitation of personal data.
Mr Wood says companies must become better prepared for the possibility of cyber attacks on their HR departments, and is advising businesses to set up protocols for identifying and dealing with suspicious emails.