How to Manage the Security Nightmare of Disgruntled Employees
You know the type. They turn down most projects assigned to them, are always unmotivated, and attend work events only when they want. Disgruntled employees are part of the corporate world, and you can never know when they decide to quit.
A Forbes article reports that unhappy employees are more than happy employees. While most of them will simply check out early or resemble Walking Dead as they shuffle to and from the coffee machine, some disgruntled employees may have more sinister motives.
When a disgruntled employee quits, they take sensitive and intellectual property they can use to sabotage your security. Studies show that about 43% of data breaches occur due to insider threats, half of which are intentionally mandated by unhappy employees.
Another survey by Biscom reveals that 87% of disgruntled employees will quit a job and leave with their data, while another 28% take information created by others.
From these stats, it is apparent that employees harboring a grudge pose a massive risk to your organization and confidential data. They can share their information with rival companies, block network access, and delete or modify files, leading to business downtimes.
Dealing with such employees is highly challenging. Your IT department may not be ready or have enough time to protect your systems while dealing with other business operations. It would be best to work with a reliable technological firm like Realized Solutions to get expert IT consulting services and support for your organization during such trying times.
Read on to find the various ways you can use to prevent data breaches or security risks when a disgruntled employee quits.
Why Do Employees Take Data With Them?
Employees have access to your business data as they use it to serve your customers and carry out their daily tasks. When they leave, they can take the information and use it to sabotage your company if they feel offended. Reasons for taking company data include:
- Malice intent: In most cases, disgruntled employees may take your company data with malicious intentions. An angry employee may quit due to personal reasons such as being passed for promotion and seeking ways to get revenge on the management. The best way to do this is to steal company data from their employers and use it to secure another job from a competitor. Others may delete or destroy essential company data to punish the former employer.
- Inadvertent action: Sometimes, a decorating employee may inadvertently take data with them. Most businesses now rely on data on the move and request employees to bring their own (BYO) devices to work. These devices will contain data or access the company cloud. When departing, they go with their devices that will contain massive amounts of corporate data without even realizing they have assets belonging to the former employer.
- Justified actions: Not all disgruntled employees are wrong, as some may be seeking better opportunities to satisfy their needs. When they quit, these employees may take crucial data because they feel justified since they created it. An employee who puts several hours into creating valuable intellectual property may feel they own these assets and go with them to use elsewhere.
Consider Your Data on the Move
Currently, most businesses rely on data on the move as it allows customers to work remotely and use their devices to access data. This brings a lot of issues with data privacy and security. Disgruntled employees with access to company data from their devices can easily compromise your sensitive information.
The number of employees working from home or on the move increases by the day. Companies no longer have an option to allow their employees to use their devices to access data and work from anywhere. The flexibility of working remotely means businesses must trust their employees and rely on them to be cautious and keep sensitive information secure.
Our experts at Realized Solutions will help you navigate all these challenges by disabling accounts and freeing your network from outside access. Let’s now look at the several we will help you secure your business from disgruntled employees.
How Realized Solutions Secure Company Assets from Departing Employees
Realized Solutions has everything you need to effectively take care of your business security. We look at all the avenues to ensure you remain protected when you partner with us. Departing employees can still access your sensitive and wreak havoc on your network without proper safety measures. In terms of our technicians, you know your business, we know technology. Together, we can do a great thing that works best for your business.
Have Good Non-Compete Agreements
As digital transformation becomes inevitable, making changes to your recruiting agreements makes sense. Getting a proper non-compete agreement with all the crucial details in your employment contract can help protect your company’s interests.
A legally binding non-compete agreement prevents your former and current employees from engaging in competitive activities after they quit. According to law, any sensitive information an employee takes from a business should not be used until the set period elapses.
Non-compete agreements are crucial to protecting your company’s trade secrets when an employee departs. It will protect you from losing sensitive data with the legal backing to pursue anyone who steals it or leaks it to a competitive company after they quit.
Even disgruntled employees leave a significant gap, and it may feel challenging to let them go. It is common to find employees leaving their roles, but the organization takes time to remove them from accessing company data. As soon as an employee leaves your company, talk to us to let them go immediately. We will cut them off from permissions, privileges, and email.
We understand the importance of limiting access to customer data to avoid any potential risk such as copying and getting used at a later date. We want to ensure you can account for and collect all your device features for departing employees, such as tablets, phones, laptops, and data. Failure to do so can have detrimental repercussions.
Since nobody knows when things can turn sour, we ensure your business is always ready to protect your business-sensitive data. Our expert helps you plan for your business by mitigating risk and revoking access to your network, VPN, cloud-based storage (Dropbox, Google Drive), or any cloud-based tools like PayPal or Salesforce.
One of the easiest steps to secure your company after an employee quits is to change your password of all the previously used logins. Such precautions enable us to revoke any access from outside that can cause a security risk. At Realized Solutions, we take further steps to deactivate and blacklist all the individual accounts of departing employees to prevent unauthorized access.
Monitor User Behavior
Monitoring your employees is crucial to secure company data, especially with the ongoing shooting at personal devices. We have reliable network monitoring tools and software to identify employees’ suspicious activity.
Our experts will help you create policies to audit your employees from the moment you receive a resignation notice to when they quit. The goal of monitoring is to gain insights into how the employee has been accessing data and any they can still have access to.
The major red flags to watch out for are:
- Multiple failed logins
- Bulk file copying to the cloud, personal devices, personal email accounts, or shared accounts
- Data tampering or mass file deletion
- Unauthorized communication between employees and competitors
- Abnormal timed employee access to sensitive company data, physical facilities, and accounts
- A sudden spike or drop in your employee’s email activity.
Equally important, it would be best to avoid going overboard with employee monitoring. Watching every move can make them feel under scrutiny and will not perform their task as required. We are experts at this and will perform all activities discretely.
Frequently Backup Data
Regular backups are arguably to stay protected when you have a looming security threat from your former employees. An effective backup policy is essential to guarantee your business continuity with a secure archive of your crucial data.
We offer automated data backup services to give you peace of mind in a data breach, disaster, or system crash. If the disgruntled employee decides to delete all the crucial company data, you can rest easy knowing you still have all the copies you need to continue with normal operations.
Get Help to Protect Your Assets from Disgruntled Employees
What damage can a disgruntled employee do to your business? Lots! Disgruntled employees can open doors for cybersecurity issues, data theft, and the leak of confidential information. Sometimes these can lead to lawsuits, loss of revenue, and failure to comply with regulations.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to take action. Create policies to reduce the risk of data breaches from disgruntled employees who quit to save you a lot of trouble down the road. You can also work with reliable IT security to get constant business security.
If you need help to protect your business assets from former employees, contact us at Realized Solutions. Our experts will ensure your data is secured, and if an employee suddenly walks out the door…your business is protected.