Data security is a growing concern for many small business owners. While headlines focus on data breaches in larger organizations, cybersecurity statistics show that up to 43% of all cyberattacks are committed against small businesses. Therefore, cybersecurity is a must for your customers and employees.
If you are looking for a PEO for staff outsourcing solution, you may be concerned about how secure your company data is with your new partner. This security issue is an important consideration for small business owners working with PEOs, as organizations are responsible for most of their employees’ personal information.
PEO can be protected with your personal information. However, before you agree to join a PEO, you need to know what policies your new privacy partner has.
Determining the Quality of Your PEO’s Cybersecurity
Among the many factors to look for in a PEO is a strong cybersecurity infrastructure. Your PEO has access to important pieces of your employees’ personal information, including social security numbers, home addresses, birth dates, and more. If the PEO administers benefits for your employees, they may have access to HIPAA-protected data.
Ensuring that your PEO is properly managing this information is important for your own peace of mind and can help eliminate potential concerns about accountability.
Understand What Laws Govern PEOs’ Data Policies for Clients
PEOs can have clients in many countries. As such, they may need to have security procedures that meet these different standards. Ask your PEO partners about their customer base and what privacy laws apply to them.
Assess Their Internal Data Security Requirements
You should evaluate your PEO partner’s internal security policies. While no system is 100% safe from failure, there are many steps you can take to prevent internal and external data breaches.
Ask your PEO partner about:
- Your employee password security needs
- Your written information security program
- Educate employees about data breaches and data security best practices
- Measures are taken to prevent successful phishing and other malicious attacks
You need to feel that everyone working on your PEO understands the need for best data security practices.
Meet With Their IT Department
When you meet your new PEO team, make sure you get to meet members of their IT department too. Strong cybersecurity policies require organization-wide compliance, but your IT department may be in a better position to respond to specific concerns about the department’s handling and processing of personal data.
Improve Your Own Cybersecurity
While it’s important to feel safe with your PEO cybersecurity infrastructure, it’s also important to take care to protect your employees’ personal information. A solid cybersecurity program in your PEO will not help your employees if their data can be compromised by you.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends all companies have a solid data security plan. A solid data security plan should include:
- Track what personal information you access, both physically and digitally
- Keep only the personal information necessary for your business
- Maintain current physical security, electronic security, and employee training on data security policies and practices, and oversee security policies for contractors
- Dispose of confidential information safely as soon as you need it
- Create a security plan
Work With a PEO Broker to Help Secure Your Data
Finding the right PEO involves making sure they have the services your business needs, pricing options that fit your budget, and the ability to keep your data safe. Narrowing this down can be a time-consuming project for an already wriggling small business owner.
Luckily, you don’t have to work alone to find the right PEO for your business. The PEPE broker at NetPEO is here to help with your search. Through our network of trusted suppliers, we can help you find a PEO who is sure to provide the service you need.