Off-Boarding Users: A Checklist

Your employees begin making digital footprints within your business the moment they are hired. Your hiring materials, company handbook, and on-boarding agenda are all digital. They get a company email address and application logins. They may even update their LinkedIn page to connect to your company. That’s why having an off-boarding checklist is so important.When an employee leaves a company, it creates a whole process that needs to happen. This is the process of “off-boarding” the employee from the company’s technology assets. Believe it or not, this digital off-boarding is vital to the long-term security posture of the organization.You don’t want a former employee to maliciously email all your customers from their work email. Sensitive files left on a former staffer’s computer could leak months later. Sensitive company documents could be downloaded from unprotected systems.20% of surveyed businesses have experienced a data breach connected to a former employee. Digital off-boarding entails revoking privileges to company data, computers, applications, and more. This is a critical process to go through for each former staff member to reduce risk.In this post, we’re providing a handy checklist to help you cover all your bases and keep your organization safe from insider security risks.

Your Digital Off-boarding Checklist

Knowledge Transfer

Vast corporate knowledge can disappear when a person leaves an organization. It’s important to capture this during a digital off-boarding process.This could be something as simple as what social media app someone used for company posts. Or it may be productivity leveraging, such as the best way to enter the sales data into the CRM.Make sure to do a knowledge download with an employee during the exit interview. Better yet, have all staff regularly document procedures and workflows. This makes the knowledge available if the employee is ever not there to perform those tasks.

Address Social Media Connections to the Company

Address any social media connections to the former employee. Is their personal Facebook user account an admin for your company’s Facebook page? Do they post on your corporate LinkedIn page?Make sure they update their information quickly so lingering connections don’t create confusion among your client-base.

Identify All Apps & Logins the Off-Boarded Person Has Been Using for Work

Hopefully, your HR or IT department will have a list of all the apps and website logins that an employee has. But you can’t assume this. Employees often use unauthorized cloud apps to do their work. This is usually done without realizing the security consequences.Make sure you know of any apps that the employee may have used for business activities. You will need to address these. Either change the login if you plan to continue using them. Or you may want to close them altogether after exporting company data.Ultimately, your organization should have control over the applications its staff uses to get their work done. Integrate logins with SSO solutions or Microsoft 365 Azure Active Directory will help rein in unknown access.

Change Email Password

Changing the employee’s email password should be one of the first things you do when off-boarding them. This keeps a former employee from getting company information. It also keeps them from emailing as a representative of the company.Accounts are typically not closed immediately because emails need to be stored. But you should change the password to ensure the employee no longer has access. Additionally, ensure others have access to the mailbox for review or forward incoming messages to another employee.

Change Employee Passwords for Cloud Business Apps

Change all other app passwords. Remember that people often access business apps on personal devices. So, just because they can’t access their work computer any longer, doesn’t mean they can’t access their old accounts.Changing the passwords locks them out no matter what device they are using. You can simplify the process with a single sign-on solution.

Recover Any Company Devices

Make sure to recover any company-owned devices from the employee. Remote employees are often issued equipment to use.You should do this as soon as possible to avoid loss of the equipment. Once people no longer work for a company, they may sell, give away, or trash devices.Additionally, having all equipment managed from something like Microsoft Intune allows you to disable the device remotely and prevent recovery of any data stored on the encrypted hard drive.

Recover Data on Off-Boarded Employee Personal Devices

Many companies use a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. It saves them money, but this can make off-boarding more difficult.You need to ensure you’ve captured all company data on those devices. If you don’t already have a backup policy in place for this, now is a good time to create one.

Transfer Data Ownership & Close Off-Boarded Employee Accounts

Don’t keep old employee cloud accounts open indefinitely. Choose a user account to transfer their data to and then close the account. Leaving unused employee accounts open is an invitation to a hacker. With no one monitoring the account, breaches can happen. A criminal could gain access and steal data for months unnoticed.

Revoke Access by Employee’s Devices to Your Apps and Network

Using an endpoint device management system, you can easily revoke device access. Remove the former employee’s device from any approved device list in your system.

Change Any Building Digital Pass-codes

Don’t forget about physical access to your building. If you have any digital gate or door pass-codes, be sure to change these so the person can no longer gain access.

Need Help Reducing Off-boarding Security Risk?

When you proactively address digital off-boarding, the process is easier and less risky. Contact us today for a free consultation to enhance your cybersecurity.

Jeff Hughes

Jeff Hughes

Having a reliable and enthusiastic partner in the IT services and solutions sector is imperative for achieving sustained business growth through effective technological strategies. Jeff Hughes, the CEO of Hermetic Networks, is wholeheartedly committed to assisting clients in optimizing their technology resources to maintain a competitive edge within their respective industries. Within Hermetic Networks, Jeff collaborates closely with a team of dedicated professionals who are deeply committed to delivering exceptional IT security services and solutions. Leveraging his extensive expertise and practical experience, Jeff ensures that clients receive unparalleled support and guidance for their IT security initiatives. When you choose Hermetic Networks as your partner, you can have confidence in our ability to enhance your business systems, helping you stay at the forefront of today's highly competitive business landscape.