Owning a company comes with a lot of potential headaches. That doesn’t mean it can’t be rewarding, both financially and in other ways. However, you should keep potential security risks in mind, especially if your company has a significant online presence.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most notable security concerns you might not think about all the time, specifically, some offboarding-related ones. Having these in mind can prevent data breaches, and that is always something for which you must be ready.
What Precisely is Offboarding?
Before we get into how offboarding poses significant security risks, we should make sure you know what this term means. You probably already know all about onboarding, which you have to do if you hire a new employee.
Onboarding occurs when you get your new worker up to speed on your computer system, along with its security measures. You will also talk to them during the onboarding process about the job tasks for which they are responsible.
Offboarding is the separation process when you have someone leave your company who you used to employ. You might offboard them in a very peaceable manner if they’re going under good terms. The offboarding process might also come if you’ve terminated them for cause.
If you have to offboard someone under less than pleasant circumstances, you might have to go through the process without their help. Maybe they left the building with a security escort. No matter whether your worker and the company parted under friendly terms, though, you need to offboard them quickly and thoroughly for security reasons.
Now, let’s talk about three offboarding-related business risks.
An Employee Goes on Leave
If a worker goes on leave, they will probably have a good reason for doing so. They may be about to have a child, or perhaps they just had one. Maybe they are going on vacation, or they need to take care of a sick relative.
If this happens, you’ll need to train someone to do what your employee does while they are gone. You might have this new person shadow your worker during the last week they are in the office.
Aside from that, an employee going on leave can be a potential security risk if you don’t take care of the offboarding. Specifically, you should deactivate all of their clearances. You can reinstate them when the person comes back.
That might involve temporarily deactivating their swipe card if they need one to get into the building. You can also disallow their password access to your software suite if your company uses one.
Your Company No Longer Needs a Contractor
In addition to the regular employees who work for your company, you might also have contractors who come to the building sometimes. If your employees work exclusively from home, you might still have part-time contractors who you allow to access your network.
A time might come when you are not going to use a contractor anymore, or maybe you don’t need to use them for months on end, but you think it’s likely they will come back and do more work for your business eventually. Either way, if you don’t offboard them properly, that can represent a significant security risk.
Like a regular worker going on leave, the best thing you can do is temporarily or permanently revoke the contractor’s security clearances. You might not allow them to access your network anymore with their password or numerical code. You should ask for a swipe card back if the contractor uses one at a brick-and-mortar location where your company does business.
An Employee Leaves Under Bad Terms
You might also have a situation where you have to terminate a worker for some reason. Maybe you feel like they’re not doing the best job for you, or perhaps they’re late one time too often.
Whatever the reason, this is probably the scenario where offboarding matters more than just about any other time. If the worker leaves but feels malicious, they might come back after hours and try to swipe some office supplies or deface company property. They might log into the system online and wreak havoc in some way.
You can recover any company assets from them, along with a security detail if you feel like that’s necessary. Make sure you get back any credentials that they use to access company property and deactivate any logins or passwords they utilize as well.
Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources “Joe Joe.” he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.