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How to deal with break ups – keeping IT secure when an employee leaves

Home >> Articles >> How to deal with break ups – keeping IT secure when an employee leaves
  • February 11, 2021
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In our last blog, we leaned into valentine’s day as we discussed a few simple ways that IT can help you fall back in love with your business.

Today we are looking at the flip side of that romantic coin – breakups.

Or more specifically, what to do with your IT systems to protect your organisation after an employee moves on to another job. There are two very basic things you need to remember, and a third thing that isn’t as obvious. Let’s get into it.

 Take back your hardware

This should always be step number one. More often than not when you hire someone there is a large cost to the company in terms of IT. Most workers, especially in these strange times we live in, need as a minimum a laptop and a mobile phone to do their work.

Remember, these items are the property of the company so should be returned when an employee leaves. And it isn’t just the basics you need to think about. USB drives, printers, monitors are all hardware that you may have laid out. So make sure you have a checklist of what is due to be returned to you.

Revoke Access

The second, and probably obvious, thing to be doing when an employee leaves is to revoke all of their access to company accounts and information. This should be done as soon as the employee leaves, ideally at the very end of their last working day.

This can feel brutal, especially if the person leaving has been with you a while and you trust them. However, it’s always best to have a policy in place that covers your back and is applicable to everyone.

Things you will need to take control of include, their email address (it’s useful to put on an out of office explaining the situation and providing some basic forwarding info) and who will have access to that. Then any accounts that they would use in the course of their day-to-day work should have the passwords changed.

Exit Interview

Something that not all businesses do is an exit interview with leaving staff members. This is a shame because this can be a very useful process for the business and allows you to (hopefully) get constructive criticism about how improvements can be made.

Often exit interviews will only focus on the specifics of the role of the person leaving – however, it is worth at least including a small section about IT. Ask about how they found using the tools and if there would be anything they would do to make their working life easier. This can be valuable insight from people on the coal face as to how you can improve systems and processes.

Breakups are never fun, but hopefully, you will have seen they are an excellent chance for reflection. If there is anything we’ve raised in the article that you need help with – be it data security, IT planning or anything in between, don’t hesitate to get in touch.