Keeping Staffing Data Secure Is Not a Lost Cause

By Terri Roeslmeier

February 23, 2016

Your staffing business provides an appetizing target for hackers: social security numbers, salary data, and other personal information. Cybercriminals are just champing at the bit to access them. Last year alone, there were 781 reported data breaches and the average incident cost the affected business $3.8 million. We wish that our industry was immune to targeting, but wherever private data exists, hackers will be hungrily circling. However, keeping staffing data secure is not an act of futility.

We have reviewed the many data breaches of 2015 looking for common tactics and sources of fraud. With that information, we hope to help you implement data security best practices that can minimize the damage done and possibly even prevent big losses. And we even have a few ways that your staffing software can help keep your data safe.

What is Data Security?

Data security is a critical aspect of protecting sensitive information in the staffing industry, where vast amounts of personal and financial data are routinely processed. It involves employing advanced technologies and tactics to safeguard data against unauthorized access, breaches, and theft. 

In the context of staffing industry data, this includes implementing robust data center security measures, such as encrypted databases that ensure the confidentiality of social security numbers, salary information, and personal details of clients and candidates. Additionally, the deployment of sophisticated data security software plays a pivotal role in defending against cyber threats like malware and ransomware. 

This software often includes real-time monitoring and intrusion detection systems, which are crucial in preventing hospitality staffing solutions data breaches. Furthermore, regular security audits and compliance with industry standards like GDPR and HIPAA are essential for maintaining data integrity and trust. By combining these strategies, staffing firms can create a resilient infrastructure that protects sensitive data and fosters a secure environment for their business operations.

However, even the best security systems are not foolproof, and at this point in time, the most likely cause of a data breach is what your people do, not your software. Let’s explore a few common points to address when it comes to data security. 

Not Getting Hooked By Phishing

This hacking trick has been employed since the beginning. Cybercriminals pose as a trustworthy source by creating fraudulent emails or copy-cat websites as a way of getting you to reveal your personal information, sometimes even acquiring passwords. These strategies tend to open up access to email accounts, your critical staffing software databases, and even network credentials.

Anthem Inc., the nation’s second largest healthcare insurer, may very well have fallen victim to a phishing attack during their highly publicized data breach last year. The credentials of five of their employees were compromised, a sign that they may all have been duped by a phishing-style strategy. Worst yet, at least 80,000,000 people had their personal data exposed through this tactic.

How do you prepare your employees to avoid phishing attacks? The SEC has a number of tips for keeping your data secure. If an email or link appears fishy, pick up the phone and contact whoever the email appears to be from (your internal IT team, a vendor, etc.). Also, rather than clicking links, take the extra step and try to find the same request online. And always double-check web addresses. If your web browser cannot certify it as secure, give out any personal information with caution. Keeping staffing data secure depends on it.

Emphasizing the Use of Good Passwords

Surprisingly, there is still a widespread issue with weak passwords. One highly publicized data breach last year was for Hacking Team, an Italian surveillance firm. Basically, they make their living identifying holes in other software before the vendor does and provide those back entries to governments and other entities willing to pay.

Given their trade, you would imagine that they would all use complex alphanumeric passwords to prevent breaches. Not quite. One of their engineers relied on the password “Passw0rd” to keep him safe, opening the door to hackers and a serious dose of karma.

The lesson to learn? You can never overemphasize the power of a strong password. Some IT departments issue passwords that users cannot change. Some software requires strict parameters. Our Ultra-Staff staffing software solution requires lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters to be approved. Dictionary attacks from hackers become out of the question. Blind guessing or brute force attacks become much harder to pull off, as the number of possible alphanumeric combinations grows exponentially with each additional character added to the password.

Also, there’s considerable value in presenting hard facts and cautionary tales like the one above. Give your end users a practical reason to avoid simple passwords and a memorable story to cement the consequences. That way, your warning has the teeth it needs to sink in.

Keeping Staffing Industry Data Secure with Secure Staffing Software

As we’ve mentioned before, the strength of your staffing software is key to keeping staffing data secure. Complex mandatory passwords are only the start. One essential precaution is limiting back office access to essential personnel only. The fewer people who can be compromised, the greater security you ensure for yourself.

You may be asking about the branch, division, or line-of-business managers need to access paychecks, invoices, and gross margin reports? Your option is to find a staffing software option that provides easy and secure access to that information in the front office dashboard.

Ultra-Staff’s dashboard allows users to view paychecks, invoices, financials, and gross margin reports (in addition to daily reports, employee performance, average rate per temp, and other factors) in a handy visual layout you can customize. And all of that data is accessible without creating a large target for hackers to compromise.

Looking to test our secure staffing software first-hand? Schedule a demo! We can show you how our Ultra-Staff staffing software minimizes the possibility of data breaches while providing you a user-friendly and customizable experience across front office, back office, web, and mobile portals.