When an employee leaves or is let go from your company, your priority may be hiring their replacement or delegating their day-to-day workload. But protecting your company should be at the top of your to-do list when an employee leaves.
Companies must adopt protocols to ensure the best business security practices. Most employees have varying levels of networked access to relevant company documentation. Control of these access points during an employee's exit will protect your company from disgruntled retaliation or loss of competitive information.
Here are five critical aspects of an effective cybersecurity protocol that should be followed when addressing employee turnover.
1. Retrieve all company-owned devices
Collect these items before issuing a final check if your company provides employees with a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or any other mobile device.
These devices are valuable, and most are synced with company email accounts and remote access applications. Once all devices have been inventoried and accounted for, they should be wholly reformatted and wiped clean of any third-party applications.
2. Refresh network mapping
When managing business networks, most companies are now actively mapping their networks and verifying approved mobile access points. This is especially common when businesses have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, as it allows IT administrators to understand who is accessing their system at all times.
Once an employee is no longer with the company, IT administrators should confirm that any devices owned by employees are entirely cleared of corporate data (email, documents, applications, etc.) and that access utilities such as VPN clients are removed. Mobile Device Management (MDM) platforms can help automate this process.
3. Revoke account access permissions
It is best practice to manually revoke access permissions of any individual who is no longer with the company. This should apply to internal and external accounts, including online email access and cloud-based applications.
It is also essential to audit any accounts that use shared access and change their login credentials any time an employee leaves the organization.
4. Forward company emails
As many employees forward their work emails to their devices for use out of the office, companies should be sure to change email access credentials as soon as an employee leaves the organization. This ensures that a previous employee cannot access sensitive company information or send emails using company domain names.
While every company may have different policies regarding using email addresses of inactive employees, many companies find it beneficial to forward company emails to a relevant person before officially deactivating them. This can be especially useful for sales organizations that need to manage leads and active customers while transitioning ownership of accounts.
5. Deactivate security access
Companies should have a documented policy regarding any physical or digital security access granted to employees once hired. When an individual leaves an organization, all necessary steps should be taken to revoke this access before they leave.
Ensure you have collected and deactivated any RFID cards or other security access badges before the employee's final paycheck is administered. This will help emphasize the importance of this requirement from staff members and keep your security standards well-enforced.
Following an appropriate cybersecurity protocol for when employees leave the company is an essential step to keeping your business safe. Practicing due diligence in these critical areas will not only help to maintain consistency when managing employee turnover, but it will also keep your digital assets protected and the integrity of your systems intact.