Open enrollment is considered the busiest time of year for HR professionals. It’s a bit like the holiday season. It takes a significant amount of preparation, planning, and coordination. Not to mention creating experiences to educate employees that are engaging and fun! Not such an easy task.
And as if that’s not enough for HR professionals to manage, you also have to ensure your employee’s data remains secure throughout the most hectic time of year. Just like the holiday season when hackers target credit cards, open enrollment periods create a similar environment for hackers to target employees’ personal data. The combination of sensitive data, tight timeframes, and managing multiple tasks creates the perfect storm for data breaches to occur.
According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million, a 15% increase from the previous 3 years.
You cannot afford to wait to take action within your organization for protecting your open enrollment data. Below are Bentek’s tips for avoiding cyber security attacks for a merrier open enrollment season.
Tips to Keep Data Safe this Season
Regular Security Training
Education is the first step in reducing cybersecurity threats. It is important to create educational opportunities for employees and stakeholders involved in the open enrollment process about best practices for data security. These training sessions should raise awareness about phishing scams, social engineering, and other cyber threats that could compromise data.
For more information on building a security training program, click here.
Secure Data Transmission
You should always use secure communication channels such as HTTPS for transmitting data between servers and web browsers. It is also crucial to avoid using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks when accessing or sharing data. Unsecure networks create vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit to gain access to sensitive data.
Monitoring and Auditing
When collecting data, it is crucial to implement systems for real-time monitoring and logging mechanisms. This allows you to track access and changes to data during open enrollment. You should regularly review logs and conduct audits to detect and respond to any suspicious activities.
Vendor Security Assessment
If you are working with third-party vendors or software providers to manage open enrollment, it is important to ensure they adhere to robust security practices. Conduct security assessments to evaluate their data handling and protection protocols.
It is important to have a list of questions to ask when conducting a security assessment. Click here to access a questionnaire from SecurityScorecard to help with your security assessment.
Secure Backup and Recovery
Regular backups of data are essential for ensuring it is stored safely and securely. It is important to test the recovery process for stored data to ensure it can be restored if needed. If you are working with a third-party vendor for managing your open enrollment or data transmissions, it is important to know their data recovery process and time frames.
Unfortunately, data breaches and cybersecurity threats are always looming in the shadows. Hackers are perpetually looking for opportunities to steal sensitive data during the holiday season, your annual open enrollment period, and all year long.
Security needs to be prioritized year-round, but it is important to take extra precautions during open enrollment periods when large amounts of data are being transferred.
To see how Bentek can help you handle data safely and securely during open enrollment and throughout the year, click here to contact us today!