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The Biggest Mistakes Made in Payroll Data Security and File Transfer

The Biggest Mistakes Made in Payroll Data Security and File Transfer

As an employer or business owner, it’s likely that you have personal and employee data to manage. You probably transfer a lot of files online, too. These are all sensitive forms of information you need to protect and, when you factor in GDPR obligations, your list of responsibilities as an employer lengthens further.

When it comes to payroll data security and file transfers, there are steps you can take to protect your business better. Here, we look at the biggest mistakes made regarding payroll data security and file transfers as well as how to avoid them.


    How do you Secure Payroll Data?

    From the outset, some general steps to consider when securing your payroll data include:

    • Conducing a payroll security audit.
    • Ensuring staff know how to use your payroll system correctly.
    • Asking those with access to periodically change their login details.
    • Frequently reviewing and updating your payroll software.
    • Updating logins when staff leave your business.  

    To dig a little deeper, what internet security measures might be appropriate when processing payroll? For starters, secure your payroll data somewhere safe. That somewhere safe could be either an external or internal hard drive. The risk here, however, is that data could be compromised should a computer or laptop be stolen or hacked. Of course, the solution to this risk is to use On-Cloud payroll software as it’s a sure-fire way to protect data. 

    Another key move is to adhere to payroll rules and regulations. Avoid compliance breaches and ensuring payroll data is safely secured go hand in hand. So, if you’re doing one correctly, you’re likely doing the other. For more on payroll compliance, read our article: [GUIDE] Payroll Compliance: How to Avoid Breaches.

    To ensure all access isn’t tied to one payroll member, spread payroll duties across the team. Doing so will add a level of security and will allow for several knowledgeable team members to review data and ongoing tasks. If staff know their actions will be viewed by others, they’re unlikely to manipulate timesheets, pay rates, or personal data.

    You might also consider outsourcing your payroll processes to an established and trusted payroll partner. Doing so removes any stress you have around payroll data as the partner should have stringent security measures in place. 


      What are the Risks of a File Transfer?

      Like payroll, file transferring comes with its fair share of risks. Common risks include:1.

      1. Malware: Malware can include bundle viruses, worms, spyware or Trojan Horses. You can tackle malware by understanding how to recognise it and what to do should an issue arise. 

      2. Sensitive and prohibited content: Exposing sensitive data through file sharing can have serious consequences. The best way to avoid a breach is for all people with access to exercise caution with regards to what they share. 

      3. Personal data and information: Personal data takes many forms. If the wrong parties gain access to this data, it can pose serious consequences, including identity theft and financial or reputational harm. It's often difficult to gauge how far a person’s information has spread once unauthorised parties have gained access. To avoid a compromise, great vigilance, strong passwords and authentication, and encryption are essential. 

      4. Access: File sharing security risks can arise depending on who or what is involved. For example, do employees rely on enterprise-grade or unapproved, consumer-grade file sharing tools? Safeguarding against a breach requires incorporating security measures across the entire business, including access, software programmes, third-party risk management, etc. 

      5. Firewalls: Some file sharing services require disabling or bypassing firewalls to upload or download files. While momentarily opening a firewall port may seem harmless, hackers can still gain access to sensitive data. To avoid a breach, ensure that firewalls are installed and enabled. Doing so will help block unwanted network traffic and reduce the chances of someone installing malware.

      6. Supply chain attacks: Supply chain attacks refer to when a malicious actor infiltrates a business by penetrating third parties that provide services to it. If the attack is successful, it's likely to exploit more victims, such as the third party's customers. In this situation, it’s best practice to ensure that all staff are aware of the importance of remaining vigilant and not giving away security information. 

      That brings us to the question of what is the best way to transfer files? One of the most secure methods is file-sharing encryption (E2EE), which encrypts data at the source and ensures only the recipient can decrypt it through a unique decryption key. Strong passwords – and updating them regularly – are popular, while On-Cloud software also stands out. On-Cloud software is more secure when compared to On-Premises software and comes with automated updates.


        Payroll Data Security with SD Worx, formerly Intelligo

        When you outsource your payroll needs to a Trusted Payroll Partner like SD Worx, formerly Intelligo, you can rest assured that your data is protected. 

        With MegaPay On-Cloud, we employ enterprise-grade data centres through Microsoft Azure. Azure’s full-time staffing and round-the-clock security operations centre (SOC) constantly monitors the entire cloud infrastructure, so you can ensure your data is fully protected.

        Furthermore, for file transferring, MegaPay On-Cloud is a flexible software solution that doesn’t represent security risks. Even if staff work remotely, for instance, managing payroll has never been faster, easier, or 100% secure.

        Ready to try MegaPay On-Cloud for the utmost payroll data security? Download the brochure or book a demo today.


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