Payroll is serious business – without it no professional company could function effectively. It ensures employees get paid on time, which also means it contains sensitive personal data about them. At a time when cyber security is more important than ever, it’s vital to be aware of how you should handle and protect this data – for their sake, and yours. Here are five essential steps for improving your payroll security:
Keeping track of payroll data storage
With a backlog of payroll data, one might think it obvious that payroll processors would automatically know where it’s all stored. However, this isn’t the case for almost 15% of Irish processors, according to a study by IPASS.
Furthermore, as important as where it’s stored, is what it’s stored on. Typically, it is no longer recommended for sensitive data to be stored on computer or external hard drives. Your external storage device or laptop could easily be stolen or may be left unattended on public transport, leading to an unexpected data breach caused by natural human error. Internal computer storage is also susceptible to hacking.
To mitigate these risk factors, it is best to use a trusted platform that uses highly secure servers and encrypts data to combat any threat of hacking. By keeping payslips both safely stored and easily accessible for employees online, you would cut down out any further risk involved in posting or emailing them out. Prioritise secure payroll date and choose the best payroll software for large companies.
Protect those crucial payroll reports
Your payroll reports are important for keeping a record of data related to this area of business. How they are handled is just as vital as individual payslips, if not more so when it comes to protecting employee data overall. This is because there are plenty of people online who may want access to this information for a range of reasons, and what they’ll do with it is unlikely to be anything good.
Targeting can include phishing scams, people impersonating your employees, or some other form of deception – which 57% of Irish payroll processors reported to have been victims of at some point. This is another area in which you can’t afford to take any chances and choosing highly rated certified payroll reporting software means you won’t have to.
Knowledge of GDPR practices
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an EU regulation that Irish businesses handling sensitive information need to remain aware of at all times. GDPR breaches can happen when you least expect it, usually due to simple human error – such as sending an employee’s pay slip to the wrong email address.
What’s most important when they do happen though is how you react, as well as how proactive you are in preventing breaches. Therefore, having a strong understanding of GDPR practice is key for avoiding common pitfalls and knowing steps to take when they may occur. These breaches can range from a report being sent to the wrong destination, a stolen device leading to information leaked to third parties, or personal information being altered without permission.
Good GDPR practice protects not only employee data but your own professional reputation in handling that data. Being transparent in where data is stored and letting employees access their information at any time on request is also a key part of this.
Giving clients the initiative to access their data
In line with GDPR, staff can request access to their data at any time without obstruction. Though there are further benefits to giving employees the initiative in accessing their own payroll data rather than letting the onus fall on employer to provide this information on a regular basis.
This omits any potential errors on an employer’s side in terms of misplacing information or providing it to the wrong person by accident. Allowing staff to access payslips or see their holiday balance at their own leisure can also help boost productivity, as they can do this on their down time rather than being interrupted in other tasks when the time comes for the same information to be provided at a set time.
Giving your staff the initiative in accessing their own data online will both build their trust in you and help them feel their time is being respected; further good reasons to consider secure and easily accessible payroll software for your company.
Hybrid working awareness and support
Over the past three years especially, hybrid working has become more prominent than ever for both small and large companies. With this brings natural challenges, but also opportunity. Using a secure online system on which employees can access their sensitive information remotely is a huge benefit. In the past they instead would’ve had to receive payslips via posting or email, neither of which are entirely safe as they can be easily intercepted.
Having a reliable online portal for accessing payroll and other HR information is ideal for this and adapts perfectly to the hybrid working model. Employees can access this just as easily whether at home or in office, so it can work well with whatever approach your own company prefers going forward.
Consider safe and secure payroll data software for your company
Concerns about your company’s payroll data security and keeping track of new GDPR practices can be a thing of the past if you use the right quality payroll software such as that provided by Snow. Try a payroll software free trial if you’re still deciding what the best approach should be or simply want to see how it works first-hand before jumping in.
Staying up to date with the latest technology can seem daunting but partnering with the right experts with experience handling this kind of data on a mass scale can really help you focus on the other things that matter in the day-to-day running of your business.