CompLogix Insights

How Secure is Your Compensation Software?

Oct 9, 2018

Compensation software is like many business processes, you have to protect it. Unfortunately, in the world that we live in, it can be incredibly difficult to make sure that your information is impenetrable. So, in order to protect your information from being compromised, you have to strongly evaluate the state of your software system.

To do this, there are several questions that you should ask yourself about your current compensation software system. You need to make sure that there is no possible way that anyone can access this information if you don’t want them to.

Today, we are going to look at a few of those questions, the potential answers, and how the answers are going to affect you.

How do you access your compensation information?

When you are retrieving your compensation information from your software program, the point of entry is the most important thing that you can protect. Think of it like a medieval castle. Before someone could even think about entering, they would have to get across the moat filled with alligators, over the drawbridge, and passed the knights standing guard.

…Now even if this type of castle only exists in fairy tales, you want your compensation information to have the same levels of security. So, what is the equivalent when it comes to compensation software?

First, if your compensation process is not password protected DO NOT TRUST IT. This means that just about any person would be able to see what your employees are being paid, how much, their benefit packages, etc. This could cause so many problems for potential new employees, competing companies, and your current employees.

Email is also something to be careful of. Most people don’t know but email is by no means secure. Just one email being sent can be bounced off of many external servers and allow your messages to be compromised by outside parties. This is why companies like Dropbox and Sharefile exist. Having a compensation system with a required sign in (or Single Sign On) is incredibly more secure than passing around spreadsheets via email.

Next, where do you access this information? If your compensation management plan is only available on a company-wide server, it may not always be reliable. Additionally, there may be times when you are away from your office and need to look at your compensation plans. So, you best option is to have your information store on the cloud.

How many people have access to your compensation information?

Now that we’ve talked about how you access your compensation information, we need to look at who might be able to access that information.

While it is extremely important that you information is password protected, you do not only want to have one username and password that the whole company has access to (that protects a spreadsheet for example). Again, this mass access of knowledge can cause a lot of problems between current and future members of your company. It is just simply not appropriate that all of your employees can see the compensation plans of all the other employees.

This means that you want separate compensation management accounts with different clearance levels. Some of your higher ranked employees may need to be able to see the compensation plans of their subordinates, so it would make sense that they would be able to retrieve that material. With the modern compensation systems that are available, you can set up hierarchies with permissions to control who sees what.

On the other hand, it is  also important that all of your employees can see their own compensation plans. They need to be able to feel like they have control over their information and that they are properly informed on every aspect of their compensation plan. There a many ways a compensation system can deliver statements to your employees securely.

Is your software encrypted?

Other than ease of access, data encryption is one of the most important factors to securing your information. It is also a concept that many people do not know a lot about.

Essentially, data encryption means that your information is changed so that it is not readable by anyone without specific access, i.e. it is protected against those who don’t have a “key.” If we revisit the medieval mastle analogy, data encryption would be a magic spell that transforms the area surrounding the castle and camouflages it to look like a shabby cottage.

With the increased use of the internet, just about everyone has basic computer skills, and more and more “lay people” have advanced knowledge in computer science. They even teach basic coding in public schools now! This means that if your data is not encrypted, there is a very high chance of it being stolen. Encryption makes sure that your data cannot be taken by just any internet hacker.

Where is your information stored?

Finally, there are a couple things that you need to consider when it comes to where your compensation software stores your information.

Even if your software is stored on the cloud, that information does not just magically appear out of thin air. It is actually physically stored through some kind of information server in a specific location.

The scary thing is, this location could be in a data warehouse across the ocean. If it is securely protected, that would not be a problem, but if it is in a location that does not have it’s own security, then you are in for trouble.

You want to make sure that you are working with a compensation software company, you want to ensure that they are transparent about how and where their data is stored. This means that you are also looking for a company with trustworthy and reliable customer service representatives. It is important that you have confidence in what they are telling you.

There is really a lot of factors that go into securing your compensation plans on your software program. Just as if you were protecting your house (or your medieval castle) you want to make sure that there are several barriers that prevent anyone from accessing something that they are not supposed to see.

On the other hand, you still want to be working with a software that allows for flexibility and ease of access for qualified personnel. Your software program should be both effortless to use for those who need to use it and impossible to access for those who don’t.

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