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By Damien Garvey, Technical Account Manager at www.Backup-Technology.com
December 21, 2015

Backup Technology Cloud Backup Expert Tips: Employee Termination and the Role of IT in Preserving Sensitive Data

Employee termination — whether voluntarily or involuntarily — happens everyday in all industries. Managing the termination plan is one of the great challenges for businesses. HR plays a significant role in termination. IT is not considered as concerning department; for that reason, termination procedure creates many problems. In order to keep terminations in an organised and smooth way, some of the effective practises are described here:

Basic Actions
It is necessary to plan the terminations at initial stage. HR should perform its duty in collaboration with IT as these two departments are equally important. If a wrong termination date is given to IT and they terminate the access on the given date, it will complicate matters. Consequently, the employee might not be allowed to use data or get into office as IT might have disabled the employee’s access.

In most of cases, IT departments are given particular guidelines and they follow certain procedures for terminated employees. Though the nature of tasks depend on the given guidelines, some basic tasks are performed to deny the access of terminated employees. These are as follows:

1. Restrict access to the building;
2. Inactivate the remote access;
3. Cancel networking, data and computer access;
4. Ensure that all employer’s equipment are returned;
5. Protect critical information available on all devices;

Tasks numbered 1 to 4 (above) are performed across all industries regularly. However, protecting critical information is difficult when the majority of employees use multiple devices. Salespersons keep data on various devices, such as Smartphone, tablet and laptop. Data across different devices contain confidential details concerning the company and clients, and therefore, it is obligatory for IT department to protect the information.

Preserving Data
Sensitive information, logs and records must be protected by IT in case a terminated employee lodges a complaint or files a case against the company. Sometimes disgruntled employees delete their emails, customer records or project files. To cope with such matters, data retention strategies are applied before termination date.

What does IT department do with the sensitive data of company that store on personal device of an employee? Preserving data is not simple due to proliferation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and smartphones. On legal basis, the company has the authority to keep or delete such data, without damaging or disabling the devices. In this regard, remote wipe applications are really helpful that keep the information of company in safe hands.

In multinational and large companies, employees share a great number of accounts within a department. Though there are some benefits of using shared accounts, they create innumerable issues and they should be avoided.

Conclusion
Some terminated employees (perhaps most involuntarily terminated) might try to steal critical data from their former companies. In order to manage termination of employees procedure smoothly, planning is necessary at IT level and HR department. IT manager must have comprehensive knowledge of employees’ termination process and responsibilities of IT department. To accomplish this task effectively, IT manager should arrange a meeting with all stakeholders. It is favourable to get termination notification in advance; however, it is not always possible. To deal with with situation, it is good to have planning for uncertain worst case scenario situations.

About the Author: Damien Garvey is a Technical Account Manager at Backup-Technology, an Asigra powered cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions provider.

 

 

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