With many employees gripped by the aftereffects of the pandemic, high turnover remains a big problem for businesses. Turnover is often seen on the surface as an HR or productivity issue, but unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Having significantly more people in and out of your organization leaves room for some major cybersecurity and privacy gaps if the employee onboarding and offboarding process is not comprehensive.

Whether intentionally by a disgruntled employee or accidentally by missing steps in the offboarding process, confidential data is at risk when turnover occurs. An angry employee may log in and wreak as much havoc as possible before leaving in an attempt to hurt the company by deleting or publishing sensitive information. Or, in a scenario where multiple employees resign at once, accidentally leaving their accounts active (but unattended) can create a quiet attack vector for a hacker if those credentials are breached.

Being Proactive: Onboarding Process

One way to mitigate potential issues is to take care of them on the front-end so that you are relying on processes that leave a smaller margin of error. Some suggestions for an effective employee onboarding process would be:

  • Non-Disclosure and Privacy Agreements – Legally protect your business and intellectual property.
  • Set up user accounts to only have the access and data that they need – Giving employees access to everything might be easier in the beginning, but it opens businesses up to infinitely more liability.
  • Promote positive company cultureThis understated step is crucial. When employees feel a greater sense of satisfaction and respect for management or their fellow employees, this not only helps deter turnover but keeps employees from acting disrespectfully if they decide to move on to another opportunity.

What You Can Do: Offboarding Process

The loss of an employee can be a stressful and emotional event, so it is important to have the offboarding process clearly defined to ensure no steps are missed. Some essential things to remember would be:

  • Collect the employee’s entrance pass or key
  • Immediately disable all of the employee’s user accounts and access to the company network/ data
  • Change the passwords of any shared systems or applications if necessary
  • Forward all employee emails and voicemails to an appropriate resource to ensure minimal disruptions to your clients

Managers and IT staff must always be vigilant when it comes to the threats associated with employee turnover. The onboarding and offboarding process should continually be evaluated to ensure your company’s data is secure.

Are you unsure where to start with your processes or need help executing them? We are here to help.

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