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How to Stay Safe When a Disgruntled Employee Quits

When these employees steal crucial company data, they can cause irreparable damage to your business, including corrupting your databases, leaking confidential information to competitors, and damaging the reputation of your brand.

How to Stay Safe When a Disgruntled Employee Quits

Offboarding employees, especially disgruntled ones, pose a serious threat to your data and other assets. In fact, studies have shown that 70% of intellectual property theft happens within 90 days before an employee announces their resignation.

When these employees steal crucial company data, they can cause irreparable damage to your business, including corrupting your databases, leaking confidential information to competitors, and damaging the reputation of your brand.

This blog will walk employers through ways they can reduce the risk of disgruntled employees taking information with them when they quit.

Reasons Why Employees Take Data With Them

Here is an outline of some of the reasons why most employees who quit their jobs take data with them:

  • Malicious intentions: Many employees who quit their jobs take corporate information with them with malicious intentions. Suppose an employee feels they were passed over for a promotion or that their termination was unfair, they may decide to seek revenge against the employer. They may decide to steal data from their employer and sell it to competitors or destroy it altogether.
  • Justified intentions: Some disgruntled employees decide to take vital data with them upon quitting because they feel entitled to that data, given that they were the ones who created it. For instance, an employee who developed a given structure or machinery may decide to take the blueprint with them.
  • Unintentional actions: Some departing employees may also take sensitive data accidentally. In the current age where employees are allowed to bring their own devices to work, departing employees can leave with large amounts of corporate data without even realizing it.

Types of Data that Could Be Stolen by Departing Employees

A 2019 data breach investigation conducted by Verizon revealed that 71% of data breaches are money motivated, and only 25% are motivated by attempts to gain strategic advantage. Some of the most commonly stolen data by disgruntled employees include:

  • Intellectual Property
  • Customer lists
  • Pricing list
  • Customer data
  • Passwords (internal accounts, social media, SaaS products)
  • Personally Identifiable Information
  • Emails

Ways of Securing Business Assets From Disgruntled Departing Employees

Below are some approaches that may secure your company from vanishing company assets, more so at the hands of departing employees:

1. Draft Clear Corporate Policies and Employment Agreements 

Employment agreements are arguably the simplest and most effective way of protecting your assets from departing employees, well before they decide to look for greener pastures. Even so, not all employment agreements are effective. Besides having the standard intellectual ownership provision, an effective employment agreement should include non-disclosure and confidentiality provisions.

2. Develop Good Non-Compete Agreements 

Make sure that you create a good non-compete agreement. A non-compete agreement legally binds current and former employees from engaging in competitive activities with their employer for a given period upon the termination of the employment contract. It’s a vital tool that helps safeguard your company’s trade secrets and other sensitive information in the event of an employee’s departure. It also backs you legally. With it, you can sue an employee who leaks or steals sensitive information after departing from your company.

3. Backup Your Data 

You should establish effective backup policies to guarantee you have a secure storage place for your vital information. Frequent data backups result in peace of mind in the event of system crashes, data breaches, or any other disasters. In case a disgruntled employee wipes out all your data, you can rest easy knowing that you have copies well stored.

4. Deprovision Access to Data and Accounts

Deprovisioning of accounts and data is a vital process after an employee’s termination. Whereas this process can be performed manually, automation of the process with an IAM (Identity and Access Management) solution will minimize the time it takes for user privileges to be revoked and ensure that a departed employee can no longer access their former accounts.

Among the things you can do include:

  • Revoking any identities associated with the departed employees’ personal devices
  • Changing the entry codes for your office building
  • Changing the login credentials of the accounts that the employee had access to
  • Reviewing VPN credentials and remote access software to ensure that departed employees can’t access them

K2 Technologies Can Help Protect Your Assets From Departing Employees

Theft of crucial company information by departing employees can result in lost revenues, penalties, and lawsuits. As such, you should institute preventive measures immediately after termination. If you need help protecting your assets from departing employees and ex-employees, contact K2 Technologies today. Our experts use cutting-edge technology to ensure that those departing employees can’t access your IT infrastructure. We also ensure that all of your company’s data is completely wiped from their personal devices. Contact us today to learn more about our services.