The Dangers of Weak Offboarding

The Dangers of Weak Offboarding

Whether it’s one employee or a mass layoff, do you have your offboarding protocols in place to ensure that there is no chance of repercussions? All it takes is one disgruntled person to create havoc for your organization. That person’s access to your data can become your problem if you have not offboarded them, immediately or properly.

At Nuvollo we have helped many clients not only create offboarding processes but as a client we manage the end to end offboarding process for you and ensure your security is intact. While not every parting of the ways is unpleasant some can be, and that’s why we recommend you have a process that is complete and ready to execute.

Offboarding is not a simple administrative task, it is now a more complex combination of technical skills that are needed. HR can oversee a key portion of this, but when it comes to the technical portion that HR person has likely not been trained to handle the IT side of it.

The first part of this is to clearly define roles, what will HR be responsible for and where does IT take over. HR can make sure they handle the administrative part, it is going to be the IT portion that will become the security risk. So, these two departments need to work as a team to accomplish a successful departure.

There are several risks of not having a proper offboarding process here a few key ones:

  1. Data leaks, if the person is not promptly removed from access to the company’s data there is a serious risk of not only confidentiality breaches but data loss. Critical files getting deleted, access to email, customer information, financial information, potential personnel data just to mention a few.
  2. Not having a comprehensive offboarding process can lead to compliance issues / violations, depending on your type of business. If you are in the financial sector or healthcare, for example, you are likely to have regular audits with hard set rules for the removal of ex-employees’ access. The thought of the theft of confidential financial records can be the ruin of your business, as one example.
  3. If that person retains access to your data, it gives them the ability to steal and share your operational information with your competitors / potential employers, disrupt your business operations, and compromise your ability to function. It’s not to say that everyone has bad intentions, but it just takes that one person to create havoc. An offboarding procedure can make certain to eliminate this.
  4. And now for what I consider the biggest potential problem. The theft of intellectual property! While this could backfire on the individual with legal ramifications, by then it is too late. Imagine your proprietary information or designs, data or code getting out in the wild? How do you recover from that, the loss will be staggering.
  5. Hardware is another key piece of the offboarding process, to ensure that the data is encrypted and inaccessible to any ex-employee.

Much of the offboarding can be an automated process, but it would take the help of an MSP / MSSP like Nuvollo to make this IT portion of the process a simpler one, with less stress on internal resources, and more importantly, less risk of IT security issues.

It is not pleasant to see people leave, but sometimes it might be a necessity, how you continue to function after that final handshake goodbye is up to you. Be prepared, be smart and remember even friendly goodbyes could become an issue.

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