When someone new joins your organization, how do you manage their onboarding? Chances are, you already have processes in place for everything. The employee paperwork is taken care of by the HR, the on-floor assistance and other training are probably provided by a senior team member or the training and development team, and your IT team or MSP handles their IT/computer setup. But, what happens when they are leaving the organization. Is your off-boarding process just as meticulous?
Businesses pay a lot of attention to data safety and security when employees are handling their data, but often overlook the same when it comes to outgoing employees. But, outgoing employees can be a threat to your organization’s data security. You never know when a disgruntled employee may go out of their way to intentionally harm your business by stealing (and later misusing or selling) or destroying your data. Even if an employee is parting ways with your company on good terms, and you trust them, there’s still a need to ensure your data security is not compromised at the time of their off-boarding. Some ways to do this are
- Revoke access to any company accounts that the outgoing employee may have. This includes email addresses, applications, and software used for work purposes, servers, shared drives/folders, etc. You can revoke access, restrict access to their user ID or delete their account.
- Change any shared passwords
- Inform vendors and other organizations that they have been dealing with on your company’s behalf, that they will no longer be working with you, so they shouldn’t be entertaining any requests for data or access, and also let them know of the person who will be taking over their role
- Take charge of their computer and other devices and perform an audit to ensure there has been no unauthorized data sharing or transfer
- Ensure they are not leaving the premises with any hardware such as pen drives that may contain sensitive information
- Monitor your IT network for any unusual activity
You need to implement the above-mentioned steps to ensure your data stays safe irrespective of who leaves your organization. While some may argue that it may seem like not trusting their employees, it is essential. At the end of the day, when it comes to data security and safety, you can’t leave anything to chance, because the stakes are far too high. A single data leak or misuse may cost you a lot–not just in terms of penalties, lawsuit settlements, and fines, but also your brand image and customers.