Should you offer cyber security and identity theft management as an employee benefit?

August 6, 2018

Cyber security and identity theft management are increasingly becoming part of employee benefit plans. Employers who consider adding these benefits are smart to do
so for several reasons. First, employees are understandably concerned about identity theft, which reached a record high of 16.7 million victims in 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Employers need to be concerned about identity theft, too. With as much as 50% of identity theft originating in the workplace, employers have significant exposure in this area.

In addition to considering offering identity theft management as an employee benefits,
employers should be taking all necessary precautions to protect the safety of employee data and should follow all applicable government regulations regarding secure data best practices.

In addition to the harm to employees and the lost productivity due to the negative impact that a data breach can have, these security incidents are costly for employers.

Identity Plans as Important Part of Benefits Package

68% of HR executives see identity theft protection as growing importance. It’s seen as a
benefit that supports two goals, maintaining a competitive benefits package to support recruitment and retention efforts and supporting the organization’s overall goals to provide protection against identity theft in the workplace. As cyber-attacks become increasingly sophisticated, thieves are growing not only in their ability to access data, but also in the depth of information they can acquire. A Willis Towers Watson study reported that as many as 70% of organizations will offer identity protection as an ancillary benefit in 2018.

Identity Management as a Voluntary Benefit

A robust offering of ancillary benefits is a great compliment to an employer’s overall benefit portfolio. A MetLIfe Benefits Trend study found that offering more voluntary benefits translated into happier and more loyal employees. Even though employees often bear the cost of the premiums for voluntary benefits, they are willing to do so if they perceive the benefit is of value. Having this benefit option through their place of work often means employees can receive a better price through the employer negotiated premiums. It also saves employees time that might have been spent researching and selecting a provider on their own. Employees trust that employers have their best interests when choosing benefits vendors.

Why Some Employers Choose to Include Identity Theft in Sponsored Plans

As security breaches in the workplace increase, many employers have switched to offering identity theft as part of their overall risk management and productivity program. The trend toward offering identity theft protection as a paid benefit is part of a growing shift on the part of employer to structure benefits to attract and retain millennials, who value these types of protections. Employers who offer benefits to enhance an employee’s overall personal well-being, including identity theft protection, student loan repayment plans and pet insurance, are perceived by millennials as more caring, and more interested in providing holistic support to their employees. In short, including identity theft protection can help attract and retain the most sought-after age-group of workers.

What to Look for in an Identity Theft Protection Plan

With so many offerings on the market, it’s important to choose the plan that will provide the best protection for employees for a reasonable premium. There are four essentials to a comprehensive identity protection plan:

  • For US-based employees, the plan should include continuous, real-time monitoring reports from all three major credit bureaus.
  • The service should monitor more than just the bureaus, it should also be able to scan online databases for personal risk. This includes court records, payday loan sites, black market sites where on-line information is bought and sold, and in the US, the National Change of Address Database.
  • A variety of contact methods is another essential feature. Alerts should be delivered via text, email and phone and the provider should be available 24/7 to address issues.
  • The provider should offer legal support toward reclaiming identity. To be worth the price, the service should include contacting credit-reporting agencies, creditors and law enforcement agencies on behalf of the covered individual.

Given the value of identity theft management plans to employees, many organizations are choosing to include these programs as either voluntary or employer-sponsored programs Asure’s Benefits Administration solutions allow you to streamline and efficiently manage all of your employee benefit programs to ensure that you and your employees are getting the most from this important investment.