HR departments and senior management teams often spearhead onboarding, but your IT, security, and cybersecurity teams are integral.

Onboarding new employees requires the establishment of safe accounts, physical security passes, and other security considerations – are you making these processes as straightforward as possible?

Keep reading as we explore the top security and cybersecurity considerations for employee onboarding and how cloud-based physical security tools can streamline onboarding.

Access control onboarding

You’ll likely have an access control system if you have offices for your business operations. Security access systems allow employees to enter the building with keycards, codes, fobs, and even biometric or mobile access credentials. 

When a new employee joins the company, you must ensure they have the credentials to enter the building and perform their daily activities. However, for most companies, this process takes too long. Employees are left to wait outside the building for reception staff to manually open the door due to long waiting times for keycards and fobs.

So, what’s the solution to make onboarding easier for access control?

Cloud-based access control allows companies to use mobile access credentials instead of keycards and fobs. Implementing this type of system provides many benefits for your security strategy, such as:

  • Downloads – your employees can easily download an app and then download access credentials to their mobile devices. Self-service onboarding can make the process much smoother and quicker without needing a physical key.
  • Open API integrations – a cloud-based access control system comes with open API integrations, allowing you to integrate your access control system and employee database. Access credentials will be automatically generated, and permissions will be updated based on events in your employee database. This means that all offboarded employees will have their credentials revoked immediately, reducing your exposure to intrusion.
  • Seamless entry – the best part of mobile access credentials is that the user does not need to withdraw their device or press a button to enter the building. They can just swipe their hands over the reader to trigger remote communication with their mobile devices and unlock the door. This speeds up traffic into your building and ensures the user doesn’t need to touch any germ-encrusted surfaces, providing more hygienic daily building use.

By implementing cloud-based access control and tools for remote employee onboarding, you can automate much of the onboarding process to reduce the burden on your security teams and to ensure your new employees gain access to the building immediately.

Zero trust policies

How much can you trust a new hire? They are new to the company and must be trained in best cybersecurity practices and data privacy policies. Before receiving this training, they shouldn’t be able to access your company’s sensitive data, digital assets, and resources. If they make an error, all of this information could be compromised.

The solution? Implement a zero-trust policy with role-based access permissions.

A zero-trust network access policy ensures your employees only gain access to resources that are crucial to their daily role and nothing more. So, if their device becomes compromised or they make an error, only a limited amount of data will be at risk. 

To improve your onboarding process, you should consider implementing a zero-trust policy that protects you from human error caused by new employees who haven’t completed their training.

Background checks and verification

As mentioned earlier, you must know you can trust your new hires. There should be no room left for new hires to slip through the cracks, poach your clients, and steal your valuable consumer data. To protect yourself, you should implement stringent background checks and verification. You’ll need the following information during the onboarding process:

  • The employee’s birth certificate, passport, or driver’s license.
  • The employee’s social security number.
  • Evidence of their employment history (calling their references)
  • Proof of the employee’s right to live and work in the country
  • A full criminal record check

By implementing these checks, you can have more assurance of your employees’ trustworthiness and that they are who they claim to be.

Training and orientation

Human error is one of the leading causes of security and data breaches. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to provide your new hires with training that covers the following:

  • Software updates – your employees should regularly update their software as soon as updates become available. When a new software version is created, it often eliminates vulnerabilities present in older versions. Regular updates will remove any loopholes that a hacker or cyber attacker could exploit.
  • Password management – ‘12345’ doesn’t cut it as a secure password in the modern climate. You should train your employees on password management, ensuring they can set strong, unique, and secure passwords. You might even consider implementing password management software to alert your employees when their passwords aren’t strong enough or when they’ve become compromised. 
  • Spotting malicious activity – if your employees don’t know how to spot phishing and malware scams, you’re in big trouble. They could easily enter valuable company information on a fake website, breaking GDPR compliance and placing your company in legal jeopardy. So, provide them with training covering how to verify trustworthy sources and the typical tropes of phishing and malware scams.

During the onboarding training regime, a cybersecurity awareness section should cover these topics. You might also consider implementing a physical security section covering the importance of keycard security, avoiding tailgating into the building, and emergency procedures at the company.


The onboarding process must cover all bases. You must train your employees to perform their role and educate them about such staples as company operations, company culture, safety procedures and employee benefits, but you shouldn’t forget the importance of security. When you hire a new worker, they don’t know your security policies. Take the time to educate them on your existing practices and policies while ensuring their errors don’t place your company on the firing line by using zero-trust security.

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