Protecting Workday Payroll with Multi-Factor Authentication

The Challenge

A large healthcare and life sciences firm was experiencing hundreds of hacking attempts targeting employee log-ins on Workday. They realized it was just a matter of time before an employee’s access got hacked and his payroll compromised. The firm needed a strong security mechanism to protect their employee’s payment information.


The Solution

The client wanted a solution that provided a strong authentication mechanism that was easy for the employees to use. A consulting team, in conjunction with the client, investigated various multi-factor authentication solutions available in the market.

They finally settled on Okta for a few key reasons:

  • Scalability-

    The system would be used initially for over 25,000 US based employees but had to be scalable to work across all 100+ countries they operated in. Okta provided them the scalability through a centrally managed cloud environment along with multi-lingual capabilities

  • Ease of use-

    The solution was easy to use so as not to unnecessarily burden employees when they make changes to their payroll information in Workday

  • Integration with Workday-

    Okta provided the ability to plug and play not just with Workday but with many applications right out of the box and did not require a significant amount of time getting basic functionality up and going

Okta was deployed in front of Workday, so that any US employee that needed to make a Payroll related update in the system, such as revising payment elections or changing bank account details, would receive a one time password over email or as a text over a registered cell phone. This ensured that the update was made by the authorized owner of that record.

Moreover, this two-factor authentication was used only for critical updates, but not for activities such as viewing paystubs, so as not to create an unnecessary burden on the employees.


The Result

With about 25,000 employees now secured through Okta, the team is now planning to deploy this to the rest of the employees around the world.