Earlier in November, news broke that the United States Postal Service had been hacked for data on its' 800,000 employees.  Although these attacks are typically targeted at identify theft, USPS's Media Relations manager made a statement that the hacks may have come from “a sophisticated actor that appears not to be interested in identity theft or credit card fraud.”  

Whoever was behind the attack*, it's clear that someone, somewhere, for some purpose puts a value on the employee data at the USPS.  In the black market, that information would be worth about $2,400,000 at the current rate of $3 per social security number - or as the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive might put it, 800,000 happy meals.

There are, of course less nefarious markets for workforce data too.  Take LinkedIn, who as of the 5th of November this year had a market capitalisation of $27.06 Billion USD, and 332 Million members - putting their value per member (read: each one of your employees on the platform) at $81.50.

If the black market, LinkedIn, and (possibly) international counter-espionage agencies realise that your data is valuable in their hands, then surely it must be even more valuable in yours.  After all, it's your workforce.  If you haven't started a meaningful workforce analytics program yet to unlock the hidden value of your workforce data, isn't it time you got started?

* Theories about the source of the hack abound, including that the Chinese are behind the hacks (translation - The Washington Post managed to find two cybersecurity analysts unrelated to the investigation or USPS, but were prepared to go on the record hypothesising that the USPS would make a good hacking target for Chinese interests).