What’s offboarding, and what does it have to do with cyber security?
When someone leaves your organization, hopefully, it is on good terms. However, sometimes it’s just better for you that they are leaving. Maybe the decision for their departure was one-sided.
Regardless of the circumstances, whether it is a bittersweet or unpleasant departure, your IT team should ensure that their access to ALL networks and email are turned off. IMMEDIATELY!
During recent First Friday Cyber Security Breakfasts, a number of participants said that they had issues with former employees still having active usernames and passwords to critical functions of their organizations.
This may sound easy, like it’s just a matter of clicking one switch. In some cases, it may be. But in most, it’s not that easy. Most of us have access to many different applications. This is a perfect example of why it is critical to maintain an updated inventory of all equipment, emails, software, applications, etc.
First, make sure you recover all devices that were assigned to them, whether internal or mobile, that could be taken home or on travel. These should be inventoried so it is easy to ensure you don’t forget anything.
Next, revoke access from all methods that they could use to log in remotely. This may include VPN, remote desktop, or other remote tools. This is how the Oldsmar Water Company hack happened in Florida a few days before the Super Bowl a few years ago (and a few miles from the stadium!).
While you may be tempted to shut off their email, it may be better to forward their emails to another employee for a period of time. Change their password so they can no longer access the account, but don’t turn it off completely until you know that any work that they were in the middle of has been completed or transitioned to another employee.
This is also why you should never let employees use their personal email for company work!
If the employee shared a username/password for an application with other employees, be sure to change the password. Next, ask someone to smack you for allowing that practice, then give everyone their own access!
These are just some things you should do when an employee leaves. Other things may include retrieving keys to the office, turning off access cards, retrieving company identification cards, and changing locks or combinations.
The onboarding process usually receives the most attention because you are getting your employees the tools that they need to do their jobs. And you usually have the employee or their supervisor nagging you to get those things done. Whereas offboarding doesn’t seem as urgent, it is dangerous if not done completely and promptly.
So, keep a good inventory of your networks, devices, and accesses. And develop a checklist so that when someone leaves, you know exactly what to do before it’s too late.
Do you prioritize the safety and security of your organization? Allow Commonwealth Sentinel to be your partner in risk reduction and ensuring the well-being of all. Our comprehensive services range from software and hardware solutions to training and policy implementation. Contact us at (502) 320-9885 to learn more about how we can help you achieve peace of mind.