December 14, 2021

Kronos Private Cloud Outage May Last Weeks. This Is How Companies Can React Now.

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Tags: HR

This article has been updated with new links to UKG communications on the outage.

Kronos Executive Vice President Bob Hughes released a statement on December 13, informing Kronos Private Cloud customers that service would be disrupted for several weeks due to a cybersecurity incident. Hughes said, “Given that it may take up to several weeks to restore system availability, we strongly recommend that you evaluate and implement alternative business continuity protocols related to the affected UKG solutions.” The affected tools include UKG Workforce Central, UKG TeleStaff, Healthcare Extensions, and Banking Scheduling Solutions. Customers with on-premises services are not affected.

The system outage is due to ransomware, and while it has not been confirmed, several outlets are speculating that it is linked to the Log4j Zero Day Exploit first reported on December 10. That vulnerability within the Apache Log4j 2 open source logging system has been linked to a growing tally of ransomware attacks.

The site hosing the original statement has gone down for maintenance, but a version of the email sent to customers was posted on Reddit, and UKG has set up a status update page for the outage.

A major pain for payroll officers

An outage of HR solutions that will last weeks could mean the lack of access to critical human resources data that ensures that the business runs and its employees are paid, including time tracking and scheduling software. And because the outage happened when many companies were running their payroll to pay out on December 15, payroll officers will be scrambling to restore time clock information that they lost access to. If the company has not backed up their HR data to a separate cloud or on-premise database, this could be a time-consuming and frustrating endeavor.

Also Read: Backup and Recovery: The Keys to Surviving Ransomware

Looking to the next few weeks without time tracking and scheduling software, companies will need to build work schedules and attempt to recreate much of the personal data stored for each employee, including time off requests, banking information, addresses, and contact information. 

How should Kronos Private Cloud customers react?

Many companies will resort to building schedules on paper or spreadsheets in the short term, but as Kronos pointed out in their statement, in order to get back to business as usual while also protecting private personal information, companies will need to implement one or more software systems to gather and store information. 

At minimum, companies will need:

While companies could implement a full-service HCM tool similar to Kronos, the length of time it would take to implement these tools, customize the software, and ensure full coverage for the entire enterprise can take months—and that’s with the careful planning and project management provided by a scheduled software implementation.

Companies reacting to a ransomware attack need to move quickly. Best-of-breed, standalone software with native integrations to other third-party HR software can patch up the gaping data hole left by Kronos. Bonus points if the software includes a self-service portal where employees can enter their data securely and privately, saving HR team data entry time that can be better used getting schedules back to normal.

Also Read: The best HRIS software

Compare top HR software options


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2 intelliHR - Intelligent People Management

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3 Rippling - HR

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Rippling is the #1 Rated All-In-One HR Platform. You can onboard new hires in 90 seconds, and easily manage your company's payroll, benefits, HR, and IT -- all in one, modern system. It brings all of your employee systems and data together, and helps automate your busy work. Take onboarding, for example. With Rippling, you can click a button, and take care of a new hires' I-9, offer letter, payroll, health insurance, and more -- 100% online and paperless.

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4 BerniePortal

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BerniePortal is an easy-to-use, all-in-one HR platform that automates common administrative HR tasks like benefits administration, applicant tracking, onboarding, compliance, and more. Gone are the days where you spend hours taking on manual tasks, fixing clerical errors, adjusting filing woes, and searching for missing information. It’s simple and intuitive, but don’t be fooled—BerniePortal is a powerful tool for HR that makes HR-related tasks easier for all employees.

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5 GoCo

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GoCo is modern HR, benefits, and payroll, built for flexibility and ease-of-use in mind. Manage records, performance, time off, onboarding, benefits, and more all in one place. GoCo is a secure, compliant hub for sending, digitally signing, and organizing your sensitive HR documents and data. Unlike other HRIS platforms, GoCo is built to be flexible enough to support existing processes, policies, and providers, so you don't have to change the way you work just to adopt a modern HR system.

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6 Employee Survey Platform

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The WorkTango platform creates space for employees to have a voice and helps companies easily gather frequent feedback for any engagement, DEI, wellbeing, transformation, or feedback initiative.

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7 Leapsome

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CEOs and HR teams at forward-thinking companies (including Spotify, Northvolt, and Babbel) use Leapsome to create a continuous cycle of performance management and personalized learning that powers employee engagement and the success of their businesses.

As a people management platform, Leapsome combines tools for Goals & OKRs Management, Performance Reviews and 360s, Employee Learning & Onboarding, Employee Engagement Surveys, Feedback & Praise, and Meetings.

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8 ADP Workforce Now

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ADP Workforce Now's HRIS solutions integrate seamlessly wiith popular business software applications and with leading payroll, HR, and financial systems. You can manage key business functions like time tracking and scheduling, and your employees can view pay statements, benefits, retirement accounts, and more. With the aid of automation and machine learning, the software can often alleviate administrative burdens, streamline workflows, reduce compliance risk and improve employee engagement.

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