1. Employee payroll data contains significant amounts of sensitive information that can be exploited if compromised by outside actors or employees.
2. With the increase in cybercrime businesses of all sizes are vulnerable to breaches in their payroll security with large organizations such as Arup, Facebook, and KPMG having been targeted.
3. Payroll security is necessary for safeguarding a business against potential data breaches and security threats as well as ensuring its compliance with the GDPR.
4. By implementing certain best practices such as regular payroll security audits and the updating of software, a business can strengthen its defenses with regard to its payroll security.
From home addresses and bank account numbers to social security and salary details, an organization’s payroll department is responsible for processing large amounts of personal data of its employees. With the continual rise of cybercrime, the threat of a data breach is ever-present and can exploit the vulnerabilities of businesses, both large and small. The consequences of a data breach can lead to loss of employee confidence, identity theft, and fraud and can also have a detrimental effect on an organization’s reputation and financial standing.
As an employer, it is crucial to ensure specific processes are in place to safeguard against the risk of such sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. This is particularly relevant as more employees begin to work remotely.
This article will discuss some of the best practices your business can employ to improve its payroll security.
Why does payroll security matter?
One of the reasons payroll security has become an important matter in recent times is due to the legal obligations imposed under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Under these regulations, employee data must be handled and stored securely with potential sanctions or fines being imposed on controllers or processors of payroll for non-compliance with data protection laws.
Businesses everywhere also face the possibility of a data breach occurring due to the rising risk of a cyber-attack. A large number of successful businesses including Arup, Facebook, and KPMG have been the target of cybercriminals over the last few years resulting in breaches in payroll security. The importance of keeping confidential employee data safe has therefore become a priority for all organizations, regardless of size.
Today’s digital landscape makes it increasingly common for such threats to take place by hackers, cybercriminals, and other bad actors who employ methods such as phishing, hacking, and ransomware attacks to exploit businesses. According to the cybercrime news platform Hack Read, “payroll is one of the most appealing targets for cybercriminals, involving as it does the large transfer of money between institutions whilst being susceptible to hacking due to outdated technology and manual practices.”
The following best practices can help your business to tighten its payroll security system.
5 payroll security best practices
Ensure global payroll security — with Horizons
Maintaining payroll security on an ongoing basis requires considerable time and resources. By outsourcing your payroll function to a third-party provider you can reduce this burden while ensuring your employee data is protected.
Horizons gives your business secure access to your employees’ data anywhere in the world with its GDPR-compliant cloud-based Global Employer of Record (EOR) platform. Contact us today for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best way to secure payroll?
Payroll can be secured by implementing certain best practices which include the following:
- Conduct regular payroll audits to identify and address potential vulnerabilities which may expose your business to a data breach.
- Separate payroll duties within your organization and restrict the number of people who have access to the payroll system.
- Keep payroll software up-to-date and install security updates as they apply.
- Limit the amount of sensitive information printed on payslips and checks.
What is payroll data protection?
The legal framework which applies to payroll data protection is contained in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These regulations require employee data to be handled and stored securely with potential sanctions or fines being imposed on controllers or processors of payroll for non-compliance with the data protection laws.