Cyber Attacks: When Not If

In 2018, cyber attacks targeting employee data increased both in number and in sophistication. In response, employers need robust, multilayered security systems in place to guard against attacks and their repercussions.

It is no longer just an isolated problem, many would say it’s a pandemic. Organisations on a daily basis are finding themselves victims of various phishing schemes or attempts to extract sensitive data from their organisation.

These perpetrators are very, very determined. They have patience. They’re willing to keep trying again and again. And the sad thing is they’re becoming very successful at finding the weak points.

As cyber-criminals broaden their entry points into organisations, the scope of who may be considered culpable in the wake of a successful attack may widen too. Security is no longer solely I.T.’s problem because if there is a data breach, and if that data breach occurred in payroll, you’re going to be sitting in front of an officer answering tough questions.

Business owners also could face legal repercussions. In the coming years, there’s going to be more legislation geared towards protecting consumers and taxpayers against organisations that have poor security protocols in place.

What Can Employers Do?

When determining protection against a cyber attack, employers should know it is a matter of when not if an attack will occur.

The objective is to deter the criminals. Make it hard. Make it frustrating. To some extent, make it not worth their while to keep trying to find a back door.

People are the weakest link when it comes to data security. To mitigate that risk, employers should have a written security protocol that is reviewed annually. Employees should receive annual training to ensure they remain compliant.

It’s A Multi-Pronged Defence

Additionally, employers should limit the number of personal devices that connect to the company’s network. An iPod, mobile phone, USB flash drive or camera could introduce a virus to the employer’s network.

An internal hotline that allows employees to report any suspicious activity they see may also be helpful. Thirty-eight per cent of targeted attacks in 2018 were caused by malicious actions of employees.

Employers should also research the vendors and third-party providers they hire.

When assessing risks, employers should ask about data storage, who may access it, how securely are stored and for how long.

Employers also should ensure that endpoint protection is used to its fullest capability. Cybersecurity monitoring services and insurance may be worth considering as a whole.

Programs like those are expensive but should be weighed against the cost of a potential breach. As a business owner, or even a university or a health care facility, what is the cost if you have a major data breach? For some organisations, it will shut you down. And the damage to your reputation may be worth more than any monetary figure.

Always better safe than sorry!

Aurion software is regularly audited, screened and tested for security holes. Our expert legal and security team work tirelessly to ensure the date entrusted within Aurion is totally safe. Looking for a payroll provider who puts security as its number one priority? You’ve found it.