When you’re running a business, losing employees is essentially inevitable. You can only reduce the number of exits from your organization by providing better working conditions, favorable work policies, and juicy remunerations. Since you can’t make them stay, how do you protect your organization’s data when they leave?
A study conducted by Arlington Research found that 20% of the 500 organizations surveyed were the victims of data breaches perpetrated by ex-employees. And it was possible because former employees still had access to the organization’s resources, data, and files. Leaving ex-employees with your company’s data is risky and should be avoided.
Before we dive into how a business can protect its data if employees leaves, let’s look at their work habits that should be discouraged when still within the organization. If proper workplace security ethics are strictly adhered to in the company, there’ll be no need to bother when the employee leaves.
Employee Work Habits That Could Compromise Data Security
- Employees using their devices for work purposes without security protection
- Employees sharing company data with outside parties
- Employees storing work files in the cloud they control, rather than your IT department
- Employees refusing to return company digital assets when they are terminated or resign
- Employees using their phone number for sensitive business dealings
Steps Businesses Can Take to Protect Their Data When an Employee Leaves
1. Create an Offboarding Process
Most organizations pay too much attention to their onboarding processes and little or no attention to their offboarding process. While in reality, they should carry the same level of importance. An offboarding process should be created and strictly followed. Once the employee submits a resignation letter or is terminated, the process should kick off immediately.
More importantly, the employees’ non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the company should be reviewed, and provisions should be made for knowledge management.
2. Empower your IT Department to Oversee the Employees Activities
Your IT department should have the right digital tools to control, track and oversee all employee’s work-related activities. There are many digital tools out there, but we will strongly recommend Microsoft Endpoint Manager for this purpose.
Contact our experts for details on how to make Microsoft Endpoint Manager work for you.
3. Terminate All Ex-Employees Account
When an employee leaves your organization, you should terminate their accounts. Because the longer you leave the account, the more they’ll be able to access it from their devices. However. terminating it strips them of every organization’s data in their possession.
4. Ensure All Company Assets Are Returned
This should be captured during the onboarding process of the employee, and on the company policy. Here, company assets are not limited to digital devices. It also includes physical assets like vehicles, and properties. They all should all be returned on termination of the employee contract to avoid impersonation with the company’s identity.
5. Change Passwords
There’s a possibility that an employee will have access to one or more user accounts within the company. So, after the employee resigns, the passwords to all sensitive accounts that the employee had access to should be changed immediately.
You can confidently protect your organization’s data when an employee leaves your organization with the points mentioned above. Even though you run a hybrid work structure, remote or full-time, Microsoft Endpoint Management can help you better protect your organization’s data from both present and ex-employees.