Kronos (UKG) data breach leaves businesses in the dark for “several weeks”

By Gustav Anderson

Dec. 14, 2021


  • Workforce management company Kronos (UKG) suffers ransomware data breach

  • Kronos Private Cloud applications to be offline for “several weeks”

  • Impacted businesses seeking timekeeping and payroll alternatives ahead of busy holiday season

Christmas came a little early this year for thousands of businesses using Kronos attendance systems – this time delivered by the horrific Krampus, however, not jolly ol’ St. Nick. 

Kronos (UKG), a large workforce management and HR software provider, announced yesterday that they suffered a ransomware attack over the weekend on Dec. 11. The attack impacts UKG solutions using the Kronos Private Cloud, namely Workforce Central, UKG TeleStaff, Healthcare Extensions, and Banking Scheduling Solutions. 

The applications will be unavailable for “several weeks” while Kronos works to resolve the breach – unfortunate timing for businesses heading into the final stretch of the holiday season. Many will be left without the necessary capabilities to account for overtime, apply bonus payments, adjust for pay differentials, and simply run payroll on time. 

For many organizations, the breach likely compromised sensitive employee information such as names, addresses, social security numbers, and employee IDs.

People everywhere are very alarmed about the breach, with their concerns even outperforming the search intent of avid PlayStation gamers and night sky fanatics, according to Google. That’s when you know things are serious. 


A Kronos representative has suggested clients “evaluate and implement alternative business continuity protocols related to the affected UKG solutions.” As such, many are reverting to rudimentary pen and paper practices to stay on top of attendance and scheduling, while others still are seeking entirely new workforce management systems. 

The breach comes as a surprise seeing as Kronos is such a long-standing and well-established brand in its field, with its origins dating all the way back to the 1970s. Some of its major clients include Puma, Tesla, Clemson University, and the MTA.

Ever since their merging with Ultimate Software to form UKG in 2020, the elderly company has struggled to update its outdated time clocks and hardware systems to keep up with newly emerging workforce management solutions. This latest security breach will undoubtedly prove a major setback in building customer trust heading into the new year of a still-young decade. 

In light of this recent ransomware attack, businesses should reevaluate the security of their workforce management systems. With a national labor shortage currently reducing employee engagement and satisfaction, businesses are already on thin ice with staff. The last thing they need right now is for their timekeeping systems to shut down. Employees are not very forgiving when it comes to the accuracy and timeliness of their pay – something Kronos and its clients are about to experience firsthand. 

The safety of employee information and the reliability of payroll is of the utmost importance when it comes to workforce management practices. If having your workforce management and payroll processes offline for weeks at a time is damaging to your business, then it’s probably time to make a change. Don’t let Krampus ruin the holidays for you or your company next year – be sure to invest in modern-day workforce solutions with top of the line data security.

Gustav is a communications officer with His past work includes media outreach for a Guinness World Record team and market research published by the University of Maine. He has a keen interest in storytelling, frontline labor issues, and all things relating to pigeons.


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