Finger touching people diagram representing blog post about data security and people leaving your company

Does your data stay put when your people leave?

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89% of employees moving on from a company still have access to at least one secure business application, according to a recent survey. The types of applications that businesses fail to secure include Office 365, Google Apps, MailChimp, WordPress and many others.

Failing to close off access to data can cause major harm even when the person leaving your business is a junior employee: but when a Business or IT Manager with high levels of access leaves, the negative impact could be catastrophic, especially if they move on to one of your competitors. As more and more organisations embrace Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and its next iteration, Bring Your Own Service/App, it becomes more and more difficult for companies to keep track of their data and who is able to access it.

How can companies manage the leaving process securely?

There are processes that can help smooth out such transitions, and minimise the threat posed by  leavers.

  • Get to know your employees – knowing who is unhappy or volatile, as well as who has access to highly sensitive data, can go a long way in addressing the threat.
  • Keep them smiling – a happy work environment is key for the success of any business. Also, content employees tend to be more loyal, whereas discontented ones have fewer qualms about liberating company assets.
  • Get a process in place – How people leave your organisation is just as important as how they are inducted. A smooth and well handled leaving process will ensure that your data is safe, but also that your leaver will take a positive impression of the business with them. Work with your IT provider to make sure there is a clear and quick process for closing off access and removing user profiles.
  • Create a culture of confidentiality – Define policies and set rules for handling company information, and have your employees sign an agreement that affirms their understanding of the rules.
  • Use technology – Mobile device management software can help you track which devices your people are using to access company data, and ensure that leavers’ access is revoked at the appropriate moment and no data leaves with them. Also useful is to use passwords or encryption software for sensitive documents, and limit access to programs or files based on an employee’s role or department.

If you would like to have a chat about data protection and how processes can create a culture of confidentiality, drop us a line at hello@stripeolt.com.