Tip of the Week:When an Employee Leaves Your Company – Protecting Your Data

Tip of the Week:When an Employee Leaves Your Company – Protecting Your Data

18:22 18 August in Tip of the Week Corporate Security, Tip of the Week Legal Security, Tip of the Week: Security Consulting

Employees transitioning out of their employment can sometimes present a wide range of issues to include protecting your data and proprietary information. A workplace violence termination is obviously handled far more differently than a 30-year retirement. With the ever-increasing role of technology, business operations are faced with challenges unthinkable even a mere decade ago.

While most companies keep strict accountability over the items such as access ID’s, credit cards, phones, and lap tops, access to high profile company Twitter or Facebook accounts can be of far greater consequence. Also, access to networks shared drives or databases containing customer data or company propriety information needs to be immediately removed.

Many companies do a decent job of revoking physical access to company offices or property, but studies show they are not as good at removing the digital privileges. It’s imperative that IT and HR work together to make sure when an employee leaves the company all access is turned off and company property is returned.

Here are 5 tips to guide business owners in keeping your data and proprietary information in-house:

1. Maintain Access Logs – Keep a detailed log of who has access to what devices and systems each employee has access to within their organization. This list needs to be kept up-to-date, secure and backed up.

2. Promptly Revoke Passwords at Employee Separation – Employees who leave should have their passwords revoked immediately. Waiting until after they leave could be a costly mistake. Former employees who still have access to a company’s network, proprietary corporate data, and company property should be considered a security threat. Most employees leaving a company would never do harm to a company, but why take the chance.

3. Suspend Access to Online Systems and Accounts – Don’t forget to suspend or remove access to systems and applications including third-party providers such as social media accounts, online storage accounts, online meeting accounts, and delete user access to such services as Office 365 for example. The last thing any company needs is a disgruntled ex-employee doing “tweets” or Facebook updates under the company brand or listening in on company online meetings.

4. Have a Plan to Protect Your Data – A system should be put in place on how best to recover employee equipment and remove access to company assets when an employee separates from employment. Develop and document an enforced policy that states who is to be notified when an employee is off-boarding. IT staff and HR should work together to develop termination steps and collaborate on implementation.

5. Stay Abreast of Privacy Laws – Regulations that concern how personally identifying information is handled within companies are continuing to become more restrictive. The burden is generally on the companies that are handling the data. The proper maintenance of current employee access lists to this data is an important step in keeping ahead of the legislation as it develops.

If you follow these 5 tips you will be off to a great start in protecting your data when an employee separates from your business!

Additional Reading:
What happened When a Former Employee Still Has Insider Access?

kathy-leodler-headshot-for-sidebarKathy Leodler
Chief Executive Officer
Phone: (360) 981-2703
PI License #3555
paul-leodler-headshot-for-sidebarPaul Leodler
Executive Vice President
Phone: (360) 981-3397
PI License #4180

We at Rampart Group are committed to your security. Call 1-800 421-0614 or contact us today with your security or investigative needs.