(fifth post in a series)
Protecting your payroll information from misuse and abuse is one of the most important things you can do your for company and its employees. Payroll data includes sensitive financial information about a business and its staff, and it’s a prime target for identity thieves. That’s why security encryption technology for transmitting data over the internet changes so rapidly — the information superhighway is a tempting place to pull a virtual armed robbery.
All financial businesses, including payroll services, keep their systems and data as secure as they possibly can. Their goal is to keep two steps ahead of the identity thieves, so that your data is always safe. And mostly they are successful, but we all hear about it when the robbers get away with a few million Social Security numbers, don’t we?
In-House Gives Options for Online and Off
Using an in-house payroll system can remove the greatest vulnerability from your payroll — transmitting confidential data to your service. You can choose to install your system on a secure server which can’t be accessed from the internet at all, if you wish. That would mean that your data could only be accessed from specific computers at your location. Suddenly grabbing your payroll data would require a literal break-in, which is more than enough deterrent for the typical identity thief.
But what if remote access is an important feature? That’s not unusual — companies with multiple locations or telecommuters may need to go that route. Your in-house system still has advantages. You have access to the same encryption methods used by banks, but with the advantage of being able to hand-pick who gets access.
Your payroll provider doesn’t have the luxury of limiting access to specific computers you’ve identified in advance, or to certain times of day. That’s because a remote provider doesn’t have a personal connection with your personnel. Their security measures, by necessity, stop at your doorstep. With an in-house system, you can control the security every step of the way — both the technical side, and the people side, as well.
The Personal Connection
An equally important part of payroll security is putting the right systems into place, and hiring people who will follow those protocols to the letter. Only when your payroll is managed entirely in-house can you know who has access to which data. It’s one thing to review the hiring practices of a third-party provider, and quite another to interview and hire professionals based on your hiring criteria.
Your corporate culture can contribute to that sense of security, as well. You can’t cultivate an atmosphere of trust and professionalism among the employees of your payroll service provider, but you certainly can among your own personnel. If you identify a gap, you can address it with corrective action or by adapting your training.
Since only a limited number of people will have a business reason to access payroll data, it’s much easier to lock it down and keep it secure. Each employee can be granted custom access to exactly the information needed to do his or her job. Granting, revoking, and modifying those permissions can be performed without delay. Access to the physical servers and hard files can also be more accurately managed, because all copies of the data will be within the company’s control.
Taking Control of Your Payroll’s Security
Is your company ready to join the ranks of the ones which have already elected to take control of your payroll’s security? Pacific DM can help. We’ll analyze your business and develop a system which takes all of your security and other needs into account. Contact us today.