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The 21st century has pushed us into a new world when it comes to security. Data and information have become the primary currencies, which holds significant implications for companies and their data storage systems. In light of this shift in priority placed on information ranging from employee personal data to companywide payroll and strategy information, businesses must start thinking of data security as a priority, and adjust their current storage solutions accordingly. 

Data security as an active process
For better or worse, gone are the days when companies could simply store information in filing cabinets or even servers and content themselves in its security. The increasing prevalence of Internet services and cloud-based platforms offer small businesses more options, but also open up the door to newer risks. Cyberbreaches, data hacks, Internet intrusions – the names are almost as myriad as the occurrences in the Information Age. One prominent example is the theft of almost 4.5 million Social Security numbers from Community Health Systems, Inc, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. 

Ponemon Institute published a report on the state of data security, revealing that the average amount of revenue lost as a result of a breach is around $3.5 million, a 15 percent increase over just one year.

Keeping yourself protected
In this new age of cyberwarfare, information and education are the greatest weapons, and this applies to the HR industry as well. Risk management is the name of the game, not only reacting to intrusions but having the foresight and capability to anticipate when and where breaches could occur.

Unfortunately, not all companies have the resources to dedicate this type of attention to data management, and this can be particularly true of smaller organizations. As Human Capital magazine noted, not only can data breaches cost money, but they can also hold legal and compliance implications. Thus it's more important than ever for companies to batten down the necessary hatches. 

The good news for smaller companies is that a robust data security program can be accessible via HR outsourcing and PEO companies. Dedicated HR services are able to make protecting HR records and company data a full-time job and, more to the point, are equipped with the knowledge and tools to do so effectively. Everything from secured external firewalls to two-factor authentication systems can go a long way in keeping your information safe. HR outsourcing provides a viable option for those who need this protection but who may not necessarily have the money for a full in-house systems overhaul.