What Happens to Your Data When a Departing Employee Leaves?
When a departing employee leaves your company, you have to worry about more than just their benefits and severance package. You also need to focus on data security. It’s all too easy for workers to leave your employment with sensitive information and intellectual property, either accidentally or deliberately, unknowingly or knowingly putting your company at risk by breaking compliance jurisdiction rules.
The sheer number of computing devices people own makes it simple to mingle personal and company data. And now that many people are working from home, the problem has increased exponentially. To protect your company’s data, you need an off-boarding service plan. Relying on previous methods leaves you exposed.
The leaving procedure
Typically, when an employee leaves, you go through a predetermined procedure, including recovering company property, explaining the employee’s severance packages (if any) and retrieving badges and keys. You also make certain to change door and security alarm codes and cancel the employee’s computer logins and email account. And while these measures help protect your company from former employees, they do not ensure that your IP is safe and you are meeting your corporate or jurisdictional compliance rules.
Risk of IP threat
Companies lose an alarming amount of intellectual property from current and former employees. Your company may carefully monitor data access after an employee gives notice, but many start collecting information long before you know they plan to leave. In fact, studies show that many employees mistakenly think they have ownership of ideas, products, plans, etc. that they developed while on the job. Over 70% admit to taking company data, sometimes from the beginning of their employment.
You may have protections in place to safeguard your company’s IP, but in an age where people share files and log in from home, leaks are bound to happen. Some employees may inadvertently keep intellectual property when they leave simply because it’s mixed with their personal information on the cloud, their cell phones, their tablets and their laptops. In any event, you need to take stringent measures to protect this data.
Risk of losing other data
Thousands of companies laid-off employees this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many then hired back employees a few months later. All of this coming and going left businesses open to data loss.
Employees may have accidentally deleted important files as they hurried to leave the building. Others may have deleted or damaged important files out of anger for losing their positions.
Worse, during the confusion, you might have neglected to revoke their access to your company data, which could have led to serious security breaches and sabotage. HR and IT departments may have simply been overwhelmed by the turnover. And while you can always wipe computers clean to protect your company, in the process you often lose important data and make it irretrievable.
Risk of Jeopardizing Information Governance and Compliance Rules
Often times both employers and employees may not be aware that their internal off-boarding processes may not ensure that their sensitive data, including personal information, meet enterprise business rules, along with legal and governmental regulations, ultimately putting them at risk.
In defending your assets, it is crucial to certify that your off-boarding service defensibly captures the logical and physical approach to protecting your data while adhering to corporate, government, and legal information governance requirements.
To protect your company, it is important to be proactive. First, you should add a number of data access protections to your system. Next, you can gain further peace of mind by hiring a specialist to off-board your departing employees. Using an expert takes care of this critical issue, preventing you from compromising IP and other important data.
The Sullivan|Strickler Off-boarding process is an on-demand, subscription-based solution that performs a forensic collection of portable data devices. It allows you to track leaks and theft and safely retain the evidence. You’ll also get the following benefits:
- A uniform process applied across your company.
- Laptop/Smartphone data that is routinely collected and preserved ensuring legal-hold compliance.
- The Invenire web portal, which makes metadata easily searchable and retrievable and allows early case assessment and evidence storage without the cost of initial analytics.
- A data retrieval function that can be extended to the help desk or backup team.
- A portable, turnkey, eDiscovery protocol.
- Data storage moved to a more affordable platform, reducing evidence costs.
- Laptops/Smartphones redeployed safely and quickly.
- Archived forensic images, easily remediated when needed.
- Formulation of risk and information management policies.
The off-boarding process also allows you to restore data through our advanced technology. We offer data restoration, tape restoration and voice data restoration, on your premises or off-site. With 30 years of experience, we have created an extensive database of emulated back-up environments. In short, we have all the sophisticated tools necessary to protect your sensitive data.
In addition, we provide restoration as a managed service (RAMS). Data needs to be retained long after the creation system is gone. Our Intelligent Tape Archive reduces cost while eliminating the need for extensive hardware, software and even personnel to manage the task. You can completely eliminate your current legacy backup system while enhancing your data backup recovery.
Protection for the future
Protecting your company’s intellectual property and preventing data loss have become complicated procedures, particularly with the migration to working at home. You need to have strict access rules in place to lessen the chances of a breach. But even with these security measures, you can easily lose control of vital data when an employee leaves.
We provide a cutting-edge employee off-boarding service that can give you the protection you need and free up many HR and IT staff hours. The problem is complicated, but the solution is not. Be proactive, invest in Sullivan|Strickler’s employee off-boarding solution.
To schedule a time to discuss Sullivan|Strickler’s departing employee program, please click here.