Payroll, data protection and how hackers are stealing your data

16th Sep 2019
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Identity thieves are ALL up in your business, like, literally. Any bit of personal information can be used to imitate you in some way online and steal your identity. But access to sensitive personal data, the type that payroll holds on you, well, that is like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for identity thieves. If they gained access, they not only have all your identifiable information such as your name and email address but they also have your National Insurance number (oh boy), your home address, your employer details including your employee number and your financial information i.e. your bank details (jackpot). 

With this much data about you, in this technological age, they could not just steal your identity, they could:

  • Access your funds and take all your money - yes really.
  • Ruin your credit score - any shady dealings would be done under your details so you would have to deal with the fallout.
  • Increase your premiums - again, if your online presence is shady then you will not be trusted and they won’t care if it wasn’t you or not. If you have a bad track record then hey presto your premiums increase and this, along with your credit, will be affected for years.
  • They could impersonate you online and forge your tax return to get your tax refund - the ultimate insult.

The worst thing is that it’s SO EASY to obtain this sensitive data if you, and especially your payroll department, don’t take the appropriate measures to safeguard it. The main areas identified in which sensitive personal data can be obtained are as follows:

  • Phishing - You know the drill, you get an email that looks legit, you click on a link and BAM, the hackers have access to your computer and all its data.
  • Shoulder surfing - You might think this is a joke but people LITERALLY pretend they’re workers and walk into offices and make a note of sensitive data behind people's’ shoulders and then just walk out.
  • Dumpster diving - If you haven’t disposed of sensitive data that’s contained on hard drives or paper then there are people in this world who will climb into a bin to get it. TIP: use your shredder.
  • Vulnerable machines and networks - Now this one is the most important. It’s what gets most companies in trouble and is the leading cause of data being stolen. You can shred your confidential waste, you can destroy your hard drives, you can make sure no one has access to the office who isn’t an employee. But if you haven’t got proper protection against thieves who are trying to break into your data then you are doomed to fail.

This is especially true for any software, machine and network that is used to process payroll. The payroll department will be the place that the hackers want to get to; where all the data they need is stored. But there is a cost effective and easy solution to ensuring that this doesn’t happen and it is by using a dedicated payroll system that protects your payroll data such as BrightPay Connect. All communication between your payroll software and the BrightPay Connect servers is carried out on a safe channel with maximum security. They use various methods to protect against things like data injection, authentication hacking, cross site scripting, exposure flaws, request forgery, and the many other types of vulnerabilities that cause data leaks.

But don’t just take my word for it, check out BrightPay Connect here -


Written by Aoibheann Byrne | BrightPay Payroll Software