Staff offboarding: 6 steps to protect against data loss

The day will come in business when you will either loose a member of staff due to moving on to a new role or you have to make the unfortunate decision of letting them go for one reason or another. However, as part of this, there are concerns about what type of data may be lost in this process if employee offboarding isn’t handled properly. You may be exposing yourself to a possible data breach, theft of Intellectual Property rights or even an employee taking all your customer information to pass on to your competitor.

According to Monster, the UK average employee turnover rate is around 15% a year, although this can vary quite a bit between industries. Ensuring that you have a robust offboarding process in place to safeguard against data loss is vital to your business and its information.

Here are six steps to ensuring a process stress free and safe offboarding process.

  1. Disable access to their user account(s)

One of the first actions you should do when informed that the employee is leaving the business, is to disable their user account. Ensuring that you disable all user accounts that they have access to, including any third-party systems and/or applications.

  1. Remove access to their email account

Most employees have email on their own mobile devices, ensuring that you remove their email access straight way will ensure that people don’t have access to confidential information after they have left the company.

  1. Disable VPN access

If you have VPN access for remote or home working, then you should ensure that their access is disabled straight away. Ensuring that their access is disabled alongside their user accounts will help reduce any loss of information.

  1. Disable and wipe devices

Any devices which are given to employees should be disabled and wiped as soon as possible, this can be performed through Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions.  This ensures that any company related information is denied as soon as possible.

  1. Administrative access

If the employee had administrative access to any systems, ensure that their access is revoked as soon as possible. Check for new user accounts that may have been setup across systems, especially if the employee has been thinking about leaving for a while.

  1. Monitor systems

There’s always a chance that an employee who is leaving a company may be bitter and annoyed about leaving, it is recommended that you monitor all company resources to ensure that there is no indication of attempted login to systems or extraction of information.

These are the six most basic steps you should undertake when an employee leaves a company, ensuring that the process is embedded into the employee offboarding process will further help protect your business and its information.