Ensure payroll security: 10 tips to keep your business’ data safe

When operating a company in a specific location, one must consider the importance of certain functions, such as payroll processes. And these processes gather a lot of vital and confidential information that must be protected under a secure payroll system. To avoid leaking important data and putting your company in danger, payroll security will be an essential element to have.

In this article, you will learn everything about payroll security and why your company must count on this important factor. Additionally, we will provide you with some tips you should follow to strengthen your payroll systems and protect your data. This way, your company’s employee and financial data will be safe, and external threats will not be a problem anymore. Let’s observe:

  1. What is payroll security and why is it important?
  2. How many tips should you follow in order to keep your company’s data safe?
  3. How can you include your payroll functions in your company’s security strategies?
  4. Learn how to implement basic cybersecurity elements to improve your payroll security
  5. Why should you train your employees to ensure a higher security level?
  6. What should you do when offboarding employees to avoid payroll security issues later? 
  7. Why keeping your payroll software updated is vital
  8. Should you outsource your payroll processing to keep your payroll data safe?
  9. Other tips you should consider to secure your company’s payroll data
  10. How can Connect Resources help you make your payroll security stronger and more effective?

1. What is payroll security and why is it important?

As you may know, payroll is a complex process that involves so much classified information about your business and employees. And this data must be protected all the time from potential cyberattacks that could damage your company’s security and reputation. In fact, payroll data tends to be a frequent target for cyberattacks, which is why having your payroll secure is vital.

In some cases, the most frequent sources of payroll security issues are pay rate alteration, timesheet fraud, data breaches, etc. You can prevent these and many other issues by taking important measures to safeguard your company’s payroll data from threats. Creating a system to secure your payroll or hiring a third party that provides services are the two main options.

Both alternatives are feasible, although the first one can be a bit complicated if you do not have enough knowledge. Therefore, you should consider getting the services of payroll data providers to ensure security and protect your company from cyberattacks. And besides protecting your company and employees’ data, your business will also be able to save a lot of money. Here is why you should invest in payroll outsourcing services.

2. How many tips should you follow in order to keep your company’s data safe?

If you desire to increase your payroll security, you should take into account certain tips and recommendations from the experts. For example, these are the top 10 tips that we have prepared for you so you can secure your payroll:

  1. Include your payroll functions in your company’s security strategies.
  2. Implement basic cybersecurity elements to make your defenses stronger.
  3. Make sure to train your employees and teach them how to use your payroll system and prevent potential scams.
  4. Consider tightening security when offboarding employees and removing old data.
  5. Keep updating your payroll software from time to time.
  6. Protect your payroll data from on-premise threats by using different strategies.
  7. Separate your company’s payroll duties to tighten security for payroll functions.
  8. Limit the information that you print on checks to avoid exposing sensitive data.
  9. Make sure to conduct regular payroll department audits to prevent fraud.
  10. Consider outsourcing your payroll process to a third party to ensure a higher security level.

3. How can you include your payroll functions in your company’s security strategies?

Since payroll security is an essential part of your company’s security measures, you should develop strategies to protect data. Besides, you should also know that including payroll functions in your security strategy can make relevant policies accessible to employees. And this way, it is easier to integrate all of your company’s security measures, as well as avoid weaknesses.

Here you can take a look at some internal measures that can help you combat payroll fraud:

  • Before hiring new employees, make sure to conduct background checks.
  • Limit the number of employees who can access employee personal information.
  • Prevent unwanted parties from accessing your company’s bank account by engaging an automated clearing house.
  • Instead of printed checks, your employees should use direct deposit.

4. Learn how to implement basic cybersecurity elements to improve your payroll security

These are some things you can implement to make your payroll secure and prevent any potential cyberattacks:

  • Using strong passwords can help you protect confidential information. Keep in mind that weak or repeated passwords can cause significant data breaches.
  • You can protect your online databases and systems by using a firewall.
  • Remember to provide data access only to employees who require it.

Although these practices will help you avoid or prevent most security issues, there are many others that you should consider. And below, you will be able to find them.

5. Why should you train your employees to ensure a higher security level?

Training your employees on the correct use of your company’s payroll system will help them understand built-in security features. Plus, you should train them on potential scams since employees are usual targets for these. Some tips that you can follow are double-checking the email addresses are accurate, watching out for suspicious messages, and more.

Apart from this, you should carry out employee training on payroll procedures, so your employees are aware of all rules. Also, keep an eye out for ways employees might cut corners and bad habits around payroll security procedures.

6. What should you do when offboarding employees to avoid payroll security issues later? 

In order to strengthen your payroll security, you must take measures when offboarding employees. For example, you must immediately recover any company assets from your employees on their last day, including laptops and security credentials. And, of course, you must remove former employees from your payroll system.

Changing login credentials is also necessary in order to prevent unauthorized access. Otherwise, your company’s data might be vulnerable to cyberattacks and other threats.

7. Why keeping your payroll software updated is vital

There is a number of cases in which outdated payroll software exposed businesses to security threats and hackers. Therefore, one of the most important that you must constantly do is update your current payroll software to tighten security. And by providing clear update requirements in your payroll security procedures, you can keep your software up-to-date.

On the other hand, in case you work with payroll data providers or payroll outsourcing companies, updates will depend on them. However, you should confirm that your provider applies all software updates automatically and ensure you have access to all the latest integrations.

8. Should you outsource your payroll processing to keep your payroll data safe?

Requesting the security services of payroll data providers can be a good option. However, it can be more favorable for your company to outsource its payroll functions and responsibilities to a third party. This way, you can not only secure your data but also save a lot of time and money.

Nonetheless, it is important to take into account particular elements when choosing your payroll outsourcing services provider. For example, you must ask about security features that the services provider incorporates in employee time tracking processes. Also, researching your provider’s reputation related to how they handle security issues is vital.

9. Other tips you should consider to secure your company’s payroll data

Besides the tips we previously explained, you should also take into consideration the following ones to secure your payroll data:

9.1. Protect your payroll data from on-premise threats

Besides cyberattacks, there will always be a chance of a hacker accessing your payroll software on-site. Therefore, make sure to follow strategies to ensure security for payroll data and protect your company from on-premise threats. For instance, you need to conduct background checks for new employees, log out when you are away from your computer, etc.

Other ways to ensure payroll security can be locking your office doors when you are out. If you have printed documents, keep them locked in a filing cabinet. Positioning your desk to make it face away from windows and doors is also useful.

9.2. Separate your company’s payroll duties

Information leaks are security issues that can frequently happen when only one person handles the payroll process. Therefore, separation of duties is a principle that will help you tighten your payroll security. For example, you can have one person managing time, while another one manages payroll and another employee issues checks.

By implementing a structure like this, you can discourage employee fraud and reduce errors as well. And if you have several employees reviewing elements of your payroll process, there will be fewer mistakes. Therefore, consider having your payroll secure by separating duties.

9.3. Limit the information that you print on checks

When you include too much employee information on checks, you are most likely exposing your company and employees to threats. As a result, there can be a negative impact on your payroll security and sensitive data will be vulnerable. Avoid printing vital details of your employees, such as their Social Security numbers, addresses, and identification numbers on checks.

In fact, it will be more recommendable to limit information and include only necessary things, like your employees’ names. In case you are working with a third party that handles your payroll functions, they must ensure full payroll security. Make sure they maximize security when issuing payments.

9.4. Make sure to conduct regular payroll department audits

By conducting payroll audits, you will be able to minimize or prevent fraud and embezzlement threats. Besides, it also allows you to ensure that your payroll processes stay compliant with labour laws and tax regulations. Therefore, make sure to conduct at least one audit on an annual basis.

If you decide to conduct a payroll audit, you should follow certain basic steps. For example, you have to confirm employee information, like pay periods and rates. Furthermore, you will also need to compare hours in payroll records and hours reported on timecards when auditing your payroll procedures.

10. How can Connect Resources help you make your payroll security stronger and more effective?

One of the best ways in which you can secure your payroll is by outsourcing your payroll tasks and functions. And with Connect Resources by your side, you can be sure that your company’s payroll data will be safe. Besides, your payroll process will be more efficient if you let us manage it and request our payroll outsourcing services.

Furthermore, if you also desire to improve all of your HR operations, make sure to request our HR outsourcing solutions. And feel free to outsource specific HR functions to help you increase efficiency, reduce expenses and errors, and save time. All you need to do is to get in touch with our specialists to get services tailored to your needs.

Do you need to improve the security of your company’s payroll functions? Allow us to contribute to your company and make significant improvements when it comes to security for payroll processes. You can contact our Connect Resources team by calling us at +971 43 316 688 or sending an email at contact@connectresources.ae to talk to our representatives and get more information about our payroll services and solutions for your company.

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