6 IT Best Practices for Successful & Secure Employee Offboarding

6 IT Best Practices for Successful & Secure Employee Offboarding

How you handle the offboarding of employees can have a big impact on your Miami county, IN business in several key technology related areas.

Today, IT is so interweaved into how each employee does their job, that unraveling those threads when an employee leaves the company takes careful consideration.

When offboarding is not done according to IT best practices, problems can arise, such as:

  • Work files never retrieved from an employee-owned device
  • No backup strategy in place for departing employee workstation
  • Files deleted from company cloud storage
  • Former employees still having access to company cloud accounts
  • Breach potential due to passwords not being changed

Just 14% of IT leaders “strongly agree” that their company has an effective offboarding process for employees.

There can be multiple reasons for the offboarding, and not all employees are parting ways willingly or on good terms. It’s best to take a consistent approach and apply your technology offboarding processes to all departing staff, no matter the situation.

Guide for Handling Technology Concerns for Departing Employees

Onboarding tends to get a lot of attention when it comes to HR activities for employees, but offboarding is just as important. This is especially true due to the digital nature of workplaces, where employees have access to multiple business apps and cloud storage accounts.

The average employee uses a minimum of 8 different business applications.

The guide below will help you deploy the best practices for technology offboarding of employees.

Pre-Termination Preparation

Some employees quit with no notice, which can leave companies in a bind if that employee has work product on a personal device that hasn’t been backed up. It can also cause a problem if the employee has ill intent and creates an insider threat via malware or deletion of company assets.

There are certain pre-termination preparations that you should have in place that protect your business data and systems from an unexpected employee departure.

These include:

  • Backup & Recovery for All Employees: The concern over lost files can be addressed by ensuring that any device (desktop/laptop/mobile) that an employee uses for work is being backed up to a cloud-based backup and recovery tool.
  • Rule of Least Privilege: The rule of least privilege is an IT term that means to only give a user the lowest access permissions they need to do their job. This helps mitigate malicious acts when a disgruntled employee quits.
  • Endpoint Device Management: How can you quickly and remotely revoke access to all your cloud applications? By using an endpoint device manager (like Microsoft Intune). Time may be of the essence when an employee leaves, and this tool allows you to quickly revoke master access on a device level.

Transition of User Account Files

Employees will have important files tied to their user accounts in various platforms (Microsoft 365, Salesforce, etc.). If your administrator simply deletes their user account without transferring their account content to an active user, all those files and emails could be lost.

Have a transition plan in place for account content in a cloud app or that’s stored on a computer hard drive to transfer the data to the appropriate user (i.e. supervisor or their replacement).

Do Not Reuse Credentials

It can be tempting to make things easy and just have a new staff person use the same login credentials for certain accounts, especially if they used a generic company email address. But, for security reasons its best to completely decommission that user and use new login credentials for a new employee.

Put Email Forwarding and Autoresponder in Place

If an employee is leaving who was in charge of customer support, their email address may be the only one that receives new ticket notifications from your CRM program.

Rather than just deleting an employee’s email account during offboarding, take the following steps to ensure you’re not missing vital email notifications.

  • Change email password, so former employee no longer has access
  • Add email autoresponder noting employee is no longer with the company and who to contact instead
  • Forward employee’s email to the appropriate staff member
  • Decide on a lifecycle of when to completely deactivate the employee account

Revoke Access to Accounts & Remove User from Subscriptions

A vital part of the offboarding process is to remove an employee from access to company accounts and logins. These can include:

  • Cloud applications
  • Remote access tools
  • Websites (MailChimp, online banking, etc.)
  • Intranets

You’ll want to ensure employees are removed from subscription plans (once their account data has been transferred). For any accounts for which an employee was the account owner (like an email or social media service), you’ll need to make sure to designate a new user as account owner so you can safely remove their account access.

Device Housekeeping

For the company-owned devices that an employee used, clean these up internally before assigning them to a new employee. You don’t want to just hand these over and have a new staff member have to sort through old data and possibly have access to sensitive information.

Ensure all files have been backed up, including email and software. Then go through the device to remove any unneeded files, archive ones that the new staff member may need in a folder, set up their new email, and clear things like browser favorites, cookies, etc.

Digital Offboarding Made Easy with Skyline Business Technology

Save your Miami County, IN business time and money by working with us for your digital offboarding. We’ll help you ensure all your bases are covered and your files and assets are secure.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 260-225-3133 or reach us online.