HR data, which includes sensitive employee information, is valuable for small businesses — as noted by Forbes, the value of human resources data may soon outstrip the value of financial data. This makes sense, since new analytics tools can help predict employee turnover, improve employee performance and reduce the time required to hire and train staff. But this increased value comes with an impact on small business operations: Owners need secure technology solutions to store, manage and leverage HR data. Here are three tips to help you identify the best storage solution for your company.

1. Secure Storage

The most important aspect of your HR records system? Secure storage. While it's impossible to prevent all security threats — CSO reports that some 120,000 taxpayers were at risk for W-2 fraud this past tax season — secure storage helps engender employee trust and can help ensure that your business meets HR data compliance regulations.

Paper records should be stored in a locked room, with access limited to one individual who is resonsible for managing the files. For online storage, a compliant system is essential. If you're not sure whether a secure storage system is a worthwhile investment, consider this Dark Reading scenario: New employees are busy filling out I-9 ID forms, scanning passports and completing direct deposit sheets when it dawns on them that the HR folder is accessible to every staff member. What happens if you're using the cloud to back up and store HR data? If your system is compromised, it could mean that names, addresses and social security numbers become publicly available.

Bottom line? HR data needs to be encrypted, maintained on a secure server and password protected (with the password frequently changed). Only staff who need access to this data for a specific purpose should be given clearance. Electronic storage systems should be evaluated on a regular basis to help ensure that data isn't being compromised by new technology, system vulnerabilities or viruses.

2. Ready for Change

Workplace technology is changing. Despite this, according to cloud computing thought leader Phil Wainewright, HR departments aren't prepared to meet the demands of digital transformation. More organizations are now using wearables such as Internet of Things (IoT) enabled ID badges or mobile devices to improve employee efficacy and streamline job functions. The problem? The collection of increasingly specific staff data requires increased oversight. To future-proof small business operations, small business owners need an HR records solution that can incorporate, track and analyze IoT data to produce actionable results, while guarding this data from outside influence or compromise. And with HR poised to fully embrace software as a service (SaaS) solutions over the next three years, advancing digital initiatives demand flexible solutions.

3. Asset Tracking

Small and midsized companies depend on devices to empower global growth. With many now turning to cloud-based IT solutions and leveraging mobile workforces, effective mobile management is a top priority. As a result, secure HR solutions must record and link any connected devices to specific users and provide critical tech information such as serial number, manufacturer, model, projected expiration date and even color — in addition to managing employee data. The integration of asset tracking is a necessary recognition of the changing workforce dynamic: Devices are now a critical part of the employee profile, experience and overall business impact. The ideal HR records solution will both streamline device tracking efforts and make it possible to quickly update, move or remove authenticated devices on demand.

Small business operations depend on HR data. Secure your most valuable resource with HR management solutions that offer secure storage, embrace digital transformation and empower easy asset management.

Stay up-to-date on all the latest trends and insights for business owners: Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.

Tags: Human Resources Risk Management Data Security