When you run a business, employees come and go, regardless of the size of your company. Though this is a normal part of everyday operations, it opens up your company to potential IT security risks. And considering the fact that nearly every organization has confidential data and IT systems in place, the risk is global. Hence, it becomes imperative to implement a system for managing these concerns.
While revoking the access to internal systems and data for employees leaving the organization is essential, there are more measures that you must take to fortify your company against theft and pilferage of data. Even if you trust the offboarding employees, the system must be uniformly applicable as a part of your ecosystem. Here are the best practices that every business needs to implement for managing the employee offboarding security risks effectively.
Collect business-owned devices
It is a common practice for businesses to provide devices to employees, whether they work on-site or remotely. To start with, you must take back the laptops, phones and data transfer and storage devices given to the employee leaving the organization. This is critical because these devices probably have sensitive and confidential information, which you would not want to get leaked or fall into wrong hands. At the same time, these devices are a capital investment for any business, which must be protected and taken back from the offboarding resource.
Remove data from personal devices
If your company allows employees to use their own devices as a part of the Bring Your Own Device policy, you need to deal with this aspect as a part of the process. Obviously, these devices will have also access to the information and data of your business. Removing the data, applications, and passwords should be a part of your security best practices when you offboard people. If wiping them remotely, make sure that you remove only business-owned assets as even accidentally deleting personal information can cause legal issues.
Terminate network access
Having an identity and access management solution in place is essential for any business. Essentially, the system provides the tools required for managing the entire workforce lifecycle, including offboarding. You can use these tools for eliminating the unique identity of the employee leaving the company. It is best to have a managed provider for handling IT efficiently and effectively, particularly when it comes to something as critical as offboarding a senior resource from the organization. Besides eliminating access and identity of the user, these experts ensure that the account is not reassigned and reused by the replacement.
Follow a well-defined procedure every time
When it comes to following IT security procedures, there should be no discrimination. Ensure that you follow the same with every single employee you offboard. Sticking to a plan cuts down the risk of missing any critical measures and significantly eliminates the chances of disgruntled people causing any problems after leaving. Furthermore, people in good standing need not worry about accidental data leaks because they will not have any information that they could lose unintentionally. Having a clear, well-defined checklist of best practices and implementing it religiously is the key to safeguarding your business.
Maintain proper records
Compliance is a significant issue for any business that handles sensitive information such as the personal and financial data of clients and customers. There may be industry-specific compliance requirements that you may have to follow. Proper offboarding becomes all the more important for such businesses, particularly when the confidential information you retain could be stolen or sold by ex-employees with wrong intentions. Hence, it becomes necessary to maintain all the records and logs that are required in the event of compliance audits. If you fail to present logs indicating a proper offboarding procedure, you may be held liable for security policy violations.
Pursue the goal of continuous improvement
Even if you have a proper offboarding security process in place, you should still make conscious efforts for continuous improvement. For example, you may automate the HR processes and encourage the systemization of access governance activities. Company-level surveys can be conducted to gather new ideas and feedback from the existing workforce. Involve your managed IT partner to get ideas about the latest tech tools that you can adopt for strengthening your business from the IT security perspective.
Employee turnover is an indispensable aspect of running a business and you cannot avoid it despite the best efforts. Therefore, you must pay significant attention to enhancing the cybersecurity practices and upgrading the related tools and applications. This will surely protect your organization from breaches and give you peace of mind.