As the demand for Cloud HRMS increases, so does the concern about the safety of sensitive employee data being able to be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. When it comes to the security procedures of Cloud HRMS, it can be typically summarized into two levels, infrastructure and software. At the infrastructure level, HR vendors use measures such as firewall and regular security audits to protect the infrastructure(physical hardware, network and data center) where the HRMS is hosted. In this blog, we will focus on the software level, which includes access control, data encryption, monitoring, regular software updates and backups, and compliance certifications. These six procedures work together to prevent data breach and data loss.
1. Access Control: Enable HR admins to set access rights for the each users
Access control helps companies to grant access to only the data and functionality that is relevant to each job role, while also ensuring that sensitive data is not accessed by unauthorized individuals.
For example, HRMS access rights can be configured so that HR staff have access to employee data such as personal information, job titles, and payroll, while managers have access to data related to their team's performance, goals, and objectives. Meanwhile, employees may only have access to view and edit/update their personal information. Access control ensures that data is accurate and up-to-date by preventing unauthorized changes and updates to data. This helps ensure that decisions are made based on accurate and reliable data.
2. Encryption: Protect sensitive employee information from hackers
At the software level, 256-bit AES encryption can be used to encrypt data in transit, which means that data is encrypted when it is transmitted between systems or over the network. This provides protection against the interception of data by unauthorized individuals like hackers who may be able to access the network or systems.
Username and Password is the most common encryption method deployed in HRMS to prevent easy access to a company’s employee information. With this, there are also two mechanisms to strengthen security. One is a password policy that allows admins to set an expiry time for each password, requiring users to change passwords regularly, and prevent them from using old passwords. The second one is account lockout, where the HRMS lock out users after a certain number of unsuccessful login attempts, which prevents hackers from forcing their way into the system.
Some HRMS offer an extra layer of security like two-factor authentication, to ensure that only authorized users can access employee information. Two-factor authentication requires users to provide two forms of identification, such as a password and a biometric factor like a fingerprint or facial recognition.
3. Regular software updates: Prevent data breaches
A reliable HRMS should have a backend support team conducting regular software/system updates to reduce the likelihood of exploitation. HRMS vendors should ensure that the software is updated regularly to patch any security vulnerabilities. Updates should be tested before deployment to ensure that they do not cause any issues.
4. Regular backups: Plan B for system failure
Clients and HRMS vendors should regularly backup employee information to prevent data loss in case of system failure or cyber-attacks. Backups should be stored in a secure offsite location, and HRMS should test the backup and restore process regularly to ensure its effectiveness.
5. Monitor: Tracking Activity Log
HR departments can use activity logs to monitor system activity and detect potential security threats. Activity logs can help to identify any suspicious activity or unauthorized access, allowing HR departments to investigate security incidents and take appropriate action.
6. Security certification
Clients could also pay attention to HR vendors who have subjected their HRMS to third party security tests for an objective proof of security. One of these tests is ISO27001, which demonstrates that the vendor has implemented effective information security controls and processes. Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual(OSTMM) which is a framework for conducting security testing and risk analysis. Compared to other ways of testing, OSTMM method simulates real world attack scenarios as opposed to theoretical scenarios. There is also the OWASP top 10 list, which identifies the ten most critical web application security risks and is updated annually.
In addition, Companies should provide regular training to employees on how to protect sensitive information and follow best practices for cybersecurity. Employees should be educated on standard security knowledge like how to identify phishing scams, keep your login password to yourself, create strong passwords, and report any security incidents to their IT department immediately.
To summarize, HRMS can make employee information more secure by implementing access control, encryption, regular backups, two-factor authentication, regular software updates, monitoring, third party security tests, and employee training. By implementing these measures, HRMS can significantly improve the security of employee information, keeping it safe from unauthorized access and cyber-attacks.