Is HR Software a Cyber Security Concern?

By Annie Button

HR data security has never been more important. With companies now having to comply with stricter GDPR rules, and facing large penalties if they fail to do so, this is something that every organisation needs to take seriously. The fact is that cybercriminals and hackers have a great interest in valuable HR data, and it is up to an organisation to protect theirs.

So, for companies that rely on third-party HR software for their day-to-day business, it might be a concern that their cybersecurity could be compromised. Taking a look at leading HR software provider Smart Recruit Online, it can be easy to see how this kind of program could create a range of challenges. Software of this nature can take have access to a huge amount of confidential data such as staff details and financial reports which could make it extremely valuable to criminals.

In this article, we will take a look at the cybersecurity issues around HR software – some of the ways the cybercriminals could potentially exploit your business. Additionally, we will consider what your business can do to minimise the risk of cyber-attack.

Is HR Software a Cyber Security Concern?

Third party software exploitation

Third party software exploitation has become one of the most common forms of cybercrime in recent years. It can occur so easily because of a simple truth about modern businesses. Simply much of the software that is required to allow large businesses to function cannot be created in house. This means that organisations must turn to third-party providers.

However, this leads to the issue that you can be utilising software that has weaknesses that can be exploited by hackers. A good example of this came when US retail giant Target suffered a major data breach which ultimately cost the company in excess of $200 million. This was ultimately suffered due to a third-party HVAC (heating, ventilation and air condition) vendor.

So, if you use a form of HR software with weaknesses and vulnerabilities you are not aware of, you could be placing your organisation at risk. Ultimately you are entrusting a great deal of data to a third-party service, and hoping that the company that created it has done the correct testing to ensure it is as impenetrable as possible.

Assuming cybersecurity strength

One of the major issues that companies suffer from when they use HR software is that they assume that using third-party software absolves them from having to take cybersecurity precautions. However, this is a huge error and it can end up being a real problem for your business. Under the rules of the GDPR, if your company processes, stores or handles any kind of personal data then you are responsible for ensuring that it is secure.

Just because you are utilising HR software from another business, it does not mean that they have taken care of any additional cybersecurity issues within your business. Ultimately, you need to take that responsibility and feel that you are securing your own data. For example, a recent report found that 63 per cent of data breaches occurred because of the use of weak or stolen passwords. In this scenario, it really doesn’t matter what security features that HR software has put in place if your staff have not been utilising safe passwords.

How to keep your business secure

Clearly, then, it is up to you and your organisation to take necessary steps to keep your IT systems secure – and this includes your HR software. It is important to choose HR software that you feel that you can trust to provide you with a minimal cybersecurity risk.

Additionally, it is essential to provide thorough security training to any member of staff that will use the HR software. Having a proper grounding in the major risks and dangers is one of the most important ways to keep your business secure. And it is also important to remember that cybercriminals become more sophisticated all the time, and techniques and tactics evolve and change, so you should schedule regular training sessions.

About the author

Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and recent graduate. Annie has written for various online and print publications, she specialises in business, Recruitment and career development’.

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