While we often think of cybercrime as mainly affecting individuals through identity theft, business organizations of all sizes face a much more significant threat because of the amount of personal and financial information available in one system.


According to the 2015 Symantec Internet Security Report, 60% of cyberattacks last year struck small to medium-sized businesses. This included close to 35,000 known computer security penetration incidents per day. These attacks can be incredibly costly. “Cyber-attacks are costing businesses $400 to $500 billion a year, and does not include the large number of cyber-attacks which are not reported,” writes Steve Morgan for Forbes.


As a direct result of the increasing number of cyberattacks, businesses are spending more on cyber insurance. According to the Forbes article, “The cyber insurance market – mainly a U.S. market – has grown from $1 billion to $2.5 billion over the past two years, and it is expected to grow dramatically and expand globally over the next five years.” For brokers, this creates an opportunity to assist clients by assessing their security needs and facilitating the appropriate level of protection.


Another way that brokers can assist business clients is by recommending technology solutions that provide strong cybersecurity protection for highly targeted, sensitive information, like payroll and HR data.


One type of cyberattack that poses the greatest risk to business organizations are account takeover attacks. Account takeover attacks are when hackers infect workstations with malware such as keyloggers or remote access Trojans (RATs). These keyloggers and RATs are used to steal login credentials from the users of compromised workstations. Stolen login credentials are then leveraged by hackers to impersonate an employee and log into web-based applications and initiate unauthorized transactions.


To protect against these types of attacks, Paylocity’s solution utilizes a security feature called multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA is the utilization of more than one characteristic (or “factor”) to prove the identity of a user. Authentication factors include something you know (such a password or the answer to a challenge question), something you have (such as a token, IP address, or certificate), or something you are (such as a fingerprint).


Multi-factor authentication makes it more difficult for hackers to perpetrate account takeovers because they have to steal more than one authentication factor to succeed. MFA is particularly beneficial for organizations that have any remote workers, as multiple authentication factors can keep company networks secure even when they are accessed from various and/or unknown locations.


Given the drastic increase in cyberattacks on business organizations, insurance brokers and financial advisors should be able to safeguard their clients’ data security with the right tools. To learn more about how multi-factor authentication with Paylocity can protect your clients’ sensitive payroll and HR data, click here.