Keeping Sensitive Employee Data Secure
When I say “employee data security,” the first thing that springs to mind is some nefarious, shadowy figure lurching over a keyboard. I can’t see their face, but I know they’re up to no good! They’re on the attack, and when they get that employee information…hoo boy.
Case in point: I watch too much TV.
Chances are higher that sensitive employee data is being accessed by somebody within the office.
Do I mean “The calls are coming from inside the house?!”
It’s just as likely that an employee accidentally found the unlocked drawer where employee information is stored. Yes, they may have also searched for this information in an attempt to harm the company.
Whether stored physically on-site or within a cloud, access to sensitive employee information might be easier than business owners and managers would like to presume.
In either instance, keeping employee data secure is important, and sometimes neglected, by business owners.
Just last year, there were “454 data breaches with nearly 12.7 million records exposed,” according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.
So what can business owners do to protect sensitive employee information? Themselves? Their business?
Let’s take a look…
Keep Access to Employee Records on a Need-To-Know Basis
Sounds simple, probably because it is!
However, too many companies lump all employee data into a single file, accessible to anybody who has no business seeing some of those files.
For instance, a direct manager is conducting performance reviews and looks for an employee’s file for past accolades and issues. Inside, they also find personal data including medical history, Social Security numbers, and other information they should not have access to.
This information should be separated. HR needs specific items, of course, and should have access to them immediately. Other information should be kept elsewhere to prohibit accidental glances or intentional snooping.
Store Employee Data Separately
There really aren’t many federal laws mandating the separation of employee data within an office setting. It’s up to the business owner and managers to devise a strategy where all information is kept confidential and secure.
Keeping data stored separately minimizes the impact of a potential threat.
According to the Denver Post, “the average price for small businesses to clean up after their businesses have been hacked stands at $690,000.”
In these terrifying scenarios, each file holds its weight in gold. Keeping personal files separate can diminish the final blow organizations must endure after the bad-deed has been done.
Document Handling of Employee Information
If a data breach is to occur, having a time-line of people who handled the information can drastically reduce the spread of the breach. If you know that Rosie had access to Juan’s file on a particular day – the same day this data went missing or otherwise compromised–then you have a good place to start with your investigation.
Go Digital–With the Same Practices Employed
Most organizations have already taken the leap from filing cabinets to the cloud, but still leave themselves vulnerable. All-in-one files, no documentation handling records—these types of overlooks can have detrimental effects to security.
When moving to the cloud, keep consistent documentation of accessed data. Enable password-protected folders to increase security of sensitive information. Keep information stored in separate folders to minimize prying eyes or ill-intent.
Adopt an HCM Solution
A Human Capital Management (HCM) solution ensures your security with cloud-based protection and access. Not all HCM platforms are created equally, so finding one that works the way you need, with your best interests in mind, is crucial to establishing a protected and secure portal for sensitive employee information.
You’ll want to make sure that your HCM platform of choice offers secure protection, allowing employees to update their own information on their own time. And that managers can access these changes for approval, and business owners receive instant access via desktop or mobile.
Balance Point’s cloud-based solution, was created with the concerns of our clients well-in-mind. This suite of mechanisms tailors to your organization, making document distribution, collection, and storage a breeze. While its functions go well-beyond data security, we understand that during the era of hackers, a push for heightened security measures must be taken.
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