Now that business leaders are seeing returns on remote work, nearly 70% of organizations plan to allow employees to continue working remotely for an indefinite length of time. Zillow, Twitter, Square, Hitachi, Mastercard, Nielsen, and Nation Wide are stand-outs on the list.

In March, after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic, IT teams enthusiastically took to the challenge of supporting a distributed workforce. But immediately, organizational cloud transformations drew attention from hackers. Gaps in security were all too common and minor user errors could easily be exploited. The rush to transform resulted in less-than-ideal outcomes.

Now that the initial IT emergency is over, it’s time to think about further evolving your collection of cloud applications and their corresponding security. This is especially important for your most vulnerable department; payroll.

Money on the move means payroll attacks: 

The FBI reports that Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes are one of the most popular methods used by hackers to exploit payroll systems. In BEC schemes, an organization’s payroll department will receive an email that seemingly comes from an employee who wants to update his/her direct deposit information. But the new information provided to payroll departments is generally routed to an untraceable pre-paid card. It’s a scam.

Payroll attacks can be insidious:

In the US, a recent payroll incident led to the theft of private health information, credit card information and financial data. The attack itself was not discovered for a full five months, by which point both following the money and cleaning up the damage morphed into a multi-part, complex machination.

Adding value to your payroll department with cloud: 

A PayDashboard poll reports that 42% of accounting firms reports that are investing in improved payroll technologies. Fewer than 20% of respondents were entirely satisfied with their current payroll set-ups.

While businesses are often of the mindset that technology shifts for payroll departments will disrupt the accurate and timely delivery of deposits or checks each month, rethinking your payroll department’s systems is sure to pay off.

Cloud-based payroll systems can provide that extra bit of redundancy and peace of mind when it comes to digital record keeping. These days, companies are even offering customized cloud-based payroll applications. Migrating your payroll to the cloud could mitigate a second wave of cyber attacks.

If you’re payroll system is already cloud-based, here’s why you might want to upgrade your cyber security: 

If your payroll department doesn’t have the latest cyber security software, or applications in place, your business might have to submit a loan application to pay off cyber attack remediation services.

Once hackers steal payroll data, organizations can find themselves battling PR crises, lawsuits, and employee backlash. To ensure organizational growth and profitability, prioritize cloud-based security.  

Organizations that move money are inherent cyber attack targets. Hackers are perpetually following the money trail. Organizations that map out potential security breaches and execute on plans to prevent these breaches will emerge as leaders in their industries.

For more on preventing payroll hacks, see this Cyber Talk story.

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