Recently, we heard that the Commonwealth Bank ‘lost’ almost 20 million account records from 2000-2016. Last year, the personal financial information of almost 50,000 Australians and 5,000 federal public servants – among them employees of the Department of Finance, the Australian Electoral Commission and the National Disability Insurance Agency – was leaked online by an undisclosed company. Significant data breaches like these are timely reminders of the need to ensure your company’s data security – including financial information about contractors and employees – is top of mind. Regardless of the industry you’re working in, the security of your company’s payroll data is critical to your business success. Whether you’re managing your payroll in-house or using an external consultant in Australia or overseas, you need to be confident that the software being used is state of the art and data is being stored with the greatest level of security. Many businesses choose to outsource their payroll management to service providers, either within or outside Australia, in an effort to take advantage of world class technology and expertise, reduce the associated costs and free resources to focus on business development. If you are outsourcing payroll management, be sure you’re outsourcing to a credible service provider that has taken steps to maintain the highest security protocols in the management and storage of your client and company data. If you’re outsourcing to an overseas company, ensure the provider is aware and compliant with all Australian and state employment legislative frameworks and that they are committed to remaining on top of changing legislation so that they can provide you with correct advice on this increasingly complex issue. Additionally, to ensure compliance and understanding within your own organisation, ensure your staff is educated and regularly tested about the importance of data security and the information security management processes you have in place. In Case of a Data Breach: What You Must Know Effective 22 February, government agencies, as well as privately owned companies with an annual turnover of $3 million, are obliged to notify individuals whose personal information has been involved in a data breach which is likely to cause a serious impact. The notification must involve information about the steps the individual should take in response to the breach. Additionally, the Australian Information Commissioner must be notified within 30 days of the breach. If these steps are not followed, incidents can attract a maximum penalty of $360,000 for individuals and $1.8m for organisations. Unrivalled Knowledge and Experience At Ayers, our bespoke payroll systems and software are backed by unrivalled knowledge experience within Australia. We guarantee compliance, reducing your audit and insurance needs. Talk to an Ayers Group expert today about your payroll management.