3 Security Threats Set to Impact to Your HRMS Processes

While it does give some credit for establishing the basic foundations of data security, the latest annual Ernst & Young Global Information Security Survey upbraids organizations for failing to look ahead to the risks of the future – essentially, it says we tend to be reactive in our dealings with security threats.

The survey identifies a number of reasons for the increasing complexity of protecting data security:

  • The pace of organizational change (mergers, new markets, new technology, etc.)
  • Mobile access and the consumerization of IT (e.g. with the steady increase of BYOD programs, your HR data now has the potential to leak from a wide range of devices)
  • General connectedness (the digital world blurs the boundaries between business, home life, and everything else making those borders more difficult to patrol and protect)
  • The cloud (HR data is now off-premises for most employers which carries its own set of risks)

Look ahead and consider these 3 security threats to ensure the integrity of your HRMS data.

1) External Threats

Although there are still precautions to be taken against mistakes, errors and outright deliberate security breaches from employees, customers and business partners. For the first time, the E&Y survey finds that organizations are worrying more about external criminal interventions – in other words, cybercrime. Given the sensitive nature of the personal data kept on HR systems, that concern certainly extends to your HRMS.

2) Falling Budgets

How much do you spend on ensuring your HR data is secure? While in the past, the c-suite has seen fit to back up its security worries with the resources to address them, E&Y have noticed a flattening out of IT security budgets over the past year. In a sense, the biggest threat may not be the data thief (internal or external) but the penny-pinching in the boardroom. The other ‘infrastructure’ threat is the continuing absence of skills and awareness around information security. How clued in are your people about following correct security protocols? As more and more of HR process reliance is placed on technology, everybody needs to understand the risks, required procedures and potential consequences of non-compliance.

Recommended Reading: HRMS Vendor Guide - Find HRMS vendors conscious of data security

3) A Failure to Anticipate

As mentioned above, while having clear and effective procedures in place to deal with a breach once it happens (is loss of HR data a part of your disaster recovery planning process?) we should be more proactive in our data security. Ask yourself these questions: Is data security a standing item on the board’s agenda? Do you carry out updated threat scenario planning in relation to the employee information you have stored? Do you talk about data security in terms of how it aligns with overall strategic objectives and can actually enhance your business?

Of course, all the usual security threats still exist – shoddy BYOD, unchecked downloading of mobile apps onto corporate devices, lax compliance with local legislation and so on – but the real threats this year are likely to come from internal attitudes and simply not treating HR data security as sufficiently important.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall