Three Actions to Take When An Employee Quits to Maximize Data Security and Confidentiality

Data security may very well be most at risk when an employee quits and leaves unexpectedly. The risk to confidentiality and overall data containment can be up in the air, particularly if the employee is disgruntled or has ill intentions as they leave. Internal security threats are surprisingly more common than you might think. Disgruntled employees are a potential top threat to the security of their company because they have access to vast amounts of information and the potential intention to do some serious damage. Here are three real and actionable strategies to help you identify potential threats and protect against it when an employee quits. 


Acknowledge the Scope of the Risk

While not as “glamorous” as corporate espionage or international cyber-crime, internal security risks are very real and can have very damaging and lasting impacts. While the problem may seem small, the effects of such data leaks can be wide-reaching and long-lasting. A 2013 study by the experts at Symantec and the Ponemon Institute found that data security breaches (whether they were intentional or unintentional) result in an average loss of more than $5 million each. That’s a tremendous amount to risk on a manageable security threat. Worse yet is the negative impact such events can have on a company’s reputation. The threat needs to be taken seriously.  

Manage Access and Identity

Luckily there are several things you can do as an employer to make sure your assets are as protected as possible. If your security policy does not incorporate and support the need for internal protection as well as external, you are leaving yourself unnecessarily vulnerable. Strategies such as knowing and monitoring early warning signs, targeting your defenses to protect your most valuable data, and creating a multi-layered security strategy will serve you well. These tactics might seem obvious, but the key is in implementation.  

Identify and Address Early Warning Signs

The most common early warning signs of an internal data breach include unusual behavior or obvious discontent among your employees. As a manager, you should be keeping tabs on the morale and overall wellbeing of your staff for the sake of employee retention and maintaining a positive corporate culture. But these indicators can also be warning signs of an impending data leak or other internal security breach. Once such issues come to like, you should act quickly to mitigate and improve attitude in the workplace to reduce the risk of an internal security breach.  

Target your Defense Efforts

Knowing what your most valuable and sensitive data is, and adjusting the level of security that is used to protect that information is critical. As the importance of certain information rises, so too should your security response. Also, keep in mind that not all threats come from outside your company. Internal threats should be responded too in kind, and only certain individuals should have access to high value or confidential information. This will help to reduce your overall risk.    

Looking to Keep Your Data Secure?

For more advice on keeping your data safe and secure, connect with the experts at Happy Faces Records Management today.  

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