Servers & Systems: The Right Compute

Human Resources in the mobile age: Are your apps secure?

The application economy has made mobile HR apps more accessible than ever — but is your security at risk?

Human resources in the modern age_blog_718209919.jpgIn recent years, mobility in the Human Resources (HR) department has evolved from far beyond overseeing a bring-your-own-device policy, to implementing apps that expedite a multitude of HR tasks. From time-tracking to taking the pulse of company-wide morale, mobile HR apps transform the way small businesses engage with employees and keep their businesses running.

The benefits of businesses adopting mobile HR apps include cost savings, speedier processing, reduced paperwork, and improved employee retention rates. There are now mobile apps, for instance, that enable traveling employees to file expense reports from the road, allow managers to approve work schedules, and make it possible to offer employee training courses at convenient times, and for minimal cost.

HR teams are also investing in apps that help employees track their health, maintain a work-life balance, share their feelings about workplace culture, recruit a more diverse workforce, monitor unconscious bias, and exchange feedback with managers. It's easy to see why, by the end of the third quarter of 2018, investment in HR technology was nearly triple what it was in 2017.

Minimizing security risks from HR mobile apps

Using mobile apps to track employee data does, however, present security risks. Mobile HR apps take business-critical and privacy-protected data, such as social security numbers, payroll records, benefits, performance appraisals, and health insurance histories, out of HR's locked filing cabinet (or firewalled server), and bring them to employees' fingertips.

And unfortunately, it's not always easy to compare the relative security of mobile HR apps. Here's an example to illustrate this point: PC Magazine's recent, exhaustive review of the top HR management software ranked 10 apps on 15 features, but (shockingly!) made no mention of their security. At the same time, HR technology is advancing faster than ever before, challenging IT pros to ensure that employee data is secure.

How can you establish appropriate security measures to protect your business's and employees' data? Here are a few tips.

1. Start with employees

According to research from PwC, employees are the most likely source of a security breach. Promote good digital hygiene across your company by reminding employees to change passwords, install app and software updates as soon as they're available, activate remote-wipe capabilities, routinely run backups, avoid insecure public Wi-Fi, use multifactor authentication, and follow data encryption policies. Also, make sure employees know that policies exist to protect not just the business, but their own confidentiality as well. They'll be more likely to comply if they understand how security benefits them.

2. Limit access

Not every employee needs access to every app, or to all of the data made available through each app. Before implementing new mobile HR apps, audit your workforce's needs and provide access only where necessary.

3. Choose secure apps

Make security a key consideration when selecting any mobile HR app for your workforce. Ask app developers and providers about security testing, and use services to test mobile app security on your own.

The world of apps streamlines everyday business tasks, but it's vital to consider how you'll manage and secure those apps before entrusting them with your company's sensitive data. Before jumping on the HR tech bandwagon, use these tips to prevent breaches and safeguard your information.

Looking for the latest information on technologies that are transforming SMBs? Look no further than these Worldwide SMB 2020 Predictions.

Ready to take the next step? Check out the SMB Hybrid IT for Dummies Guide. Because there are no "dumb" questions!

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Robert Checketts
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author


Robert has over 25+ years of IT Marketing and Product Management leadership experience spanning country, Regional and WW organizations. Robert is a marketing executive with extensive experience in field marketing, channel marketing and product marketing on a global basis and is driven to deliver SMB’s end-to-end affordable infrastructure that’s secure from the start, optimized for every workload, packaged for many consumption models, ready to scale, and easy to manage.