Security experts in the UK have advised that the widespread internet security vulnerability known as Heartbleed extends to HR and payroll software for small businesses. Companies using SaaS (software as a service), or cloud services, are “strongly advised” to contact their providers to determine whether their sensitive HR information is under threat, or could have been at one point.
The Heartbleed threat is not limited by geography, and implies that any web-based software using OpenSSL for security could be vulnerable. The worst part—“exploitation of this bug does not leave any trace of anything abnormal happening to the logs.”
Human Resources and payroll systems store sensitive employee data, such as social security numbers and payroll details—the kind of information you hope never falls into the wrong hands.
Desktop HR software, a relevant alternative
Web-based HR technology offers two major benefits over desktop HR software—less IT involvement, and easy access from multiple locations. But many companies now embrace web-based HR software without thinking twice about the other options they have.
If you’re concerned about your sensitive data passing over VPN and SSL connections on the internet, there is an alternative. People-Trak offers an onsite HR system, which can be run behind a firewall at your site to protect your data. Widespread web security threats like Heartbleed are powerless when you store and access your data locally.
Technical Difference, Inc. plans on offering and updating our desktop version of People-Trak HR software as long as people find it a viable solution. Desktop HR software offers the advantages many companies need—centralized employee data, HR reports, and streamlined processes—without the web security vulnerabilities. People-Trak HR software desktop version also offers powerful features unavailable in any web-based solution in its price range.
Ultimately, the Heartbleed bug was a result of human error, and human error can never fully be eliminated. Moving forward, however, we can all be more aware of the risks we take with security, and hopefully make smarter decisions for ourselves and for our company.
Learn more about People-Trak, which offers HR software for small and midsize businesses.