Employees won’t work for the same organization forever and dealing with their departures is just part and parcel of business. But the security risks posed by departing staff can be significant. Without secure off-boarding processes, organizations expose themselves to a variety of cybersecurity risks ranging from the innocuously accidental to the maliciously deliberate.
High turnover rates and layoffs only add to the offboarding security pressures, with potentially large numbers of employees exiting organizations, sometimes at short notice. CISOs, security teams, and relevant businesses functions should regularly review their offboarding processes to pinpoint potential risks and vulnerabilities, addressing key factors to ensure offboarding strategies remain secure amid evolving cyberthreats and workforce patterns.
Here are some of the biggest risks outgoing employees pose to organizations, the challenges CISOs typically face in securely offboarding workers, and some tips that can help make offboarding strategies more resilient.
Top employee offboarding risks
“Easily one of the biggest and most commonplace data security risks of outgoing employees is data theft,” says Jaya Baloo, CSO at Rapid7. “Employees may either deliberately or accidentally take corporate information with them, whether it’s self-developed code which may constitute corporate intellectual property, data that would be considered company confidential, or even customer data.”