Data Privacy by Design: HiBob’s Approach to Sensitive Information

It feels like large scale data breaches are about as common as Monday mornings at this point. Flick on the news, and there is likely going to be at least some murmurs of a leak or attack that has affected millions of users. Whether its governments, or even massive companies like Equifax, Facebook, and Microsoft – even the big guns haven’t been able to protect people’s private information from slipping into the wrong hands.

In the UK specifically, the GOV.UK research estimates that UK businesses have experienced around 7.8 billion cyber attacks in the last year, and the number only continues to grow. It’s enough to make even the most security-conscious amongst us paranoid.

Yet, despite these risks, businesses continue to rely more on collecting, storing, and managing sensitive data about their employers and customers. Clearly, security is becoming a massive challenge – and protecting all of that private information is no easy task.

But one HR software company, HiBob, stands out from the pack when it comes to keeping personal information under lock and key. HiBob has made data security a primary focus from day one – baking it into just about every aspect of their system architecture, company culture, and software development processes.

This “data privacy by design” is a tactic that is rare to come by these days, especially since most companies tend to plaster on security measures after the fact, which leaves holes where data is exposed.


Why Data Security is Paramount for HiBob


For HiBob, handling sensitive employee information for over 3,500 businesses is a big responsibility. We’re talking things like social security numbers, bank details, and home addresses.

If that data got into the wrong hands, it would be a disaster for HiBob as well as all those businesses and employees who rely on them. As you can imagine, HiBob data security is priority number one for the HR software provider.

Not just because they legally have to take it seriously, but because they want to do right by their clients and protect personal information. That means investing in 24/7 monitoring, the latest defences against cybercrime, and regular reviews to catch any gaps. Let’s take a deeper dive into their approach.


Taking a Proactive Approach


Instead of just reacting to threats as they appear, which is the stance that a lot of companies take, HiBob opts for a amartern, more proactive approach. Their teams constantly evaluate and stress test systems, looking for any potential holes or security vulnerabilities that hackers might try to exploit. If HiBob finds them first, then the risk of a breach drops considerably.

To do this, they try to mimic what a hacker might look to infiltrate when attempting to breach HiBob’s network. Essentially they ask, “If I were a hacker, how might I try to weasel my way into these systems?” If any risks are uncovered through this process, the security team addresses them right away before the bad actors can get at sensitive data.

Empowering Employees


While people are often the weakest link in security systems, HiBob flips this idea on its head. They turn employees into their first line of defence against cyberthreats. New hires don’t just get a standard-issue login and password on day one. They go through mandatory cybersecurity training on real and emerging threats like phishing, social engineering ploys, ransomware attacks and so on.

To keep security top of mind long-term, workers also refresh their knowledge on an annual basis. The goal is to build a security-conscious culture company-wide where all employees keep their eyes peeled for risky links and shady activity. Rather than being vulnerabilities themselves, they help actively seal up gaps in HiBob’s defences.


Precise Access Control


For sensitive employee data like salaries and personal details, HiBob has strict need-to-know access rules in place. Only staff members who absolutely require access to this information to do their jobs are granted it. Other sensitive info like financials and passwords are protected by complex auto-generated passwords and one-time codes.

By carefully controlling access privileges across the board, HiBob shrinks risks from both insider threats and external parties.


Leveraging Secure Cloud Tools


To bolster security as they scale, HiBob has forged a strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS). They leverage AWS’s robust, enterprise-grade security capabilities that rival even the most highly secured on-site data centres. HiBob then layers on extra monitoring, encryption and auditing controls on top of AWS’s rock-solid cloud foundation.

This creates a multilayered defence system far stronger than anything HiBob could build internally. As HiBob grows, the AWS relationship ensures continued stability and watertight data protection.


Independent Audits Leave No Stone Unturned


Along with rigorous internal monitoring, independent firms regularly audit HiBob’s defences by simulating real-world hack attempts. These ethical hackers probe for hidden holes that may have slipped past internal teams, leaving no stone unturned.

The external insights validate existing safety protocols and illuminate areas where HiBob can further bolster and upgrade systems against emerging digital threats. This uncompromising, routinely validated approach lets employees and customers alike rest assured their data is safe.


Wrapping Up


HiBob’s business model hinges on trust. Their clients need to feel secure enough to be able to trust them and their data handling policies with sensitive employee records. If a breach ever did occur and these records were leaked, then HiBob would have a very difficult time being able to convince both existing and potential customers that they are dependable.

With this in mind, HiBob brings an unwavering commitment to data security to the table. From employee training and culture building, to 24/7 monitoring and threat detection, HiBob does everything in its power to protect the data they have been entrusted with. And so far, so good.

For businesses aiming to improve their data defences, HiBob stands as a model for how to seamlessly blend first-rate security with service, innovation, and growth. It’s not only possible, but an absolute necessity in our digital world.