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Payroll operators to fortify security after 60% hit by attacks 


ADP research shows data security has become the most important issue over the past 12 months.

By Josh Needs 10 minute read

Payroll operators are looking to fortify their cyber security systems after approximately 60 per cent of global firms were impacted by a data breach at least once in the last 24 months. 

Automatic Data Processing (ADP) managing director of ANZ, Kylie Baullo, said research by the firm revealed that 44 per cent of those surveyed viewed data security advancements as the most important issue for payroll operators over the next two to three years.  

“Organisations are aware of the urgency of putting the systems in place to protect their data,” said Ms Baullo. 

“Almost all (98 per cent) of the senior payroll leaders we surveyed felt that data security had become more important in the last 12 months but less than half said that they have a full contingency plan in place across their business locations – this lack of action is a major concern.” 

“Recent high-profile data branches have demonstrated how sophisticated these breaches are becoming. That’s why it’s becoming ever more important to consult experts that specialise in keeping payroll and HR data safe.” 

Cyber breaches at organisations such as Medibank and Optus made headlines but globally, 61 per cent of respondents said their payroll operation had been hit by a digital security breach at least once in the last 24 months. 

Ms Baullo said the local focus on increased data security and scalability of payroll operations locally was also reflected globally.

“Our data shows that in Australia and across Asia-Pacific, the same organisational issues and opportunities are being identified across the board, and these are the ones organisations want to address in the immediate future,” she said. 

“This may put additional pressure on existing cyber security, HR and operational skills shortages as the global talent war stretches itself even further. 

ADP’s report showed that despite a possible recession many businesses were still looking to upscale their operations and were relying on improved payroll capabilities to handle the increased load. 

Approximately a third of finance and HR leaders said they were not confident in their current payroll systems’ ability to support their growth, with managers also looking for improvement in the accuracy and timeliness of payment. 

“While it can be tempting to look for the quickest solution when it comes to setting up payroll in new business areas and markets, this can be a false economy,” said Ms Baullo.

“More complex and variable working patterns and schedules meant that almost half (45 per cent) of respondents experienced an increase in payroll queries from employers.” 

“Outsourcing of payroll can increase the accuracy of this data and in turn increase employees’ workplace satisfaction.” 

The Potential of Payroll survey and report by ADP consisted of 1,486 senior individuals interviewed across 16 countries who were heavily involved in or had in-depth knowledge of payroll in their organisations. 


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Josh Needs

Josh Needs


Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

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