The Perils of Using a Single Unified Cloud Based HRMS
Jessica Miller-Merrell | HR, Social Media| By
Today while on the phone with technology support rep at AppleCare, I actually cried. At first I tried to hide my tears of desperation, but it was obvious so I just “let it go.” I’m real like that. I am now on day four of having no access to my i Cloud, phone or text messaging. The blame is as a result of a combination of factors including a failure on the part of AppleCare, my own failure because I couldn’t remember the answers to the security questions I had put in place. I place more of the blame on Apple because the first technical support person that I spoke with wasn’t exactly forthcoming with the entire process and how this “issue” would limit my work productivity this week.
I’ve long been a fan of technology whether consumer or enterprise. I’ve also been a proponent of a single unified technology in HR and across the organization. I say I’ve been a fan because that changed today. The benefits of a HRMS (Human Resources Management System) that is unified seems to be an obvious one. With a single unified system, you are able to use a single login to access all systems or in my case a single login so I can access my own as well as my family’s assortment of Apple smartphones, computers and tablet device. Two iPads, an iPhone, a MacBook air and an iMac are all tied to a unified password and account through my i Cloud.
For enterprise HR technology, that might be a suite-based HR technology product, HRMS or an enterprise technology that integrates not just with HR technology products like the HRIS, Payroll, and ATS but also procurement, expense management, scheduling, marketing automation and budgets and forecasting.
Convenience or Security When Selecting HRMS
The convenience is awesome. I use a single login to access all the different types of tech. The data, reporting and information just like my i Cloud account syncs with every systems simultaneously. It’s the reason I know when my daughter downloads the new HentriLeWorm app. It’s an IOS app that tells the story of a French worm who is also a chef. He overcomes adversity and wins the chef contest even after the evil villain steals his prize winning French recipe cookbook.
I know this because with a unified cloud based technology once my daughter downloads the app on her iPad, it also simultaneously downloads on all other tablet and smartphone Apple device. Which in theory is great until that moment when security is compromised or breached and because it’s unified and cloud based you now have no access to the technology.
On Monday, for some reason I wasn’t able to complete the password change on my i Cloud account. It wasn’t accepting the new password I had reset from a few days ago. So I tried to reset my password and inadvertently froze my account. Apple has strict privacy and security rules for good reason. Apple came under fire a few years ago when a hacker completely wiped a Wired journalists Apple account. They (the hacker) took over the journalist’s Twitter and gmail accounts. I remember setting up security passwords out of fear that something like this would happen to me. It’s the reason I have 2 factor security measures on my Twitter and Facebook accounts in the event I get or someone tries to hack. It’s ironic that my own security measures failed me.
Is Your Workplace Tech Protected from Security & Privacy Breaches?
As I mentioned we are drawn to the single unified HRMS system because of the convenience. With one simple user ID and password, you are able to access EVERYTHING. Hackers, disgruntled ex-employees and authorized users can access your entire enterprise technology network. They have access with just a login and password putting your organization at high risk for sharing private employee as well as candidate information not to mention financial information and trade secrets of your company. With a single unified system, you are opening yourself up to possible breaches. This simple fact makes me want to hide in my bedroom closet and not face reality. At current I’m hoovered in a corner in a cold sweat having withdraws from my Apple technology. Did I mention I have no access to anything?
Hackers at the moment are targeting credit information at companies like Target, Nordstroms and Home Depot, but our employee and candidate information and data is equally at risk. Identify theft is extremely common place. Access into an ATS could result in millions of dollars for the hacker. This is an estimation of what 300,000 candidate and employee social security numbers at $3.25 a piece.
We aren’t talking about it, but it’s already happening. Late last year I learned of an organization who had a former employee access the applicant tracking system. Hundreds of emails were distributed to recent applicants. The messages included racist and inappropriate language. The organization reacted quickly talking directly to the candidates impacted. They limited the damage and only told me their story so that I could share the risk that our own HRMS technologies pose to candidates and employees. Their story was shared to me by one of the senior leaders within the organization. It made me think about how much trust candidates and employees place into our organizations and also our HR technology to keep their private information secure. It’s only a matter of time before there’s a major HR technology security breach.
Unfortunately single unified systems (HRMS) aren’t going anywhere so it’s a matter of your technical team adding in additional security measures. The future of HR tech might come in fingerprint and retinal scans. Maybe passwords and candidate information is carried in briefcases by company representatives who are handcuffed to that information. The future really just depends on how important security and privacy are to your enterprise company.