Feature: Page (1) of 1 - 04/18/17

6 Important Steps to Secure Your Business Before an Employee Leaves

By Paul Fitzgerald for America's Backbone Weekly

It's always somewhat awkward when someone leaves your employ. Even under the best-case scenario, when all appears to be congenial, the fact is your company is exposed if you can't control the critical flow of data on the outgoing employee's connected devices that have been linked into your system. What if that person leaves with the firm's client list or other, more critical intellectual property? The financial ramifications could be devastating.

Consequently, there's too much at stake not to have the right Mobile Device Management (MDM) technology in place and a plan of action to minimize risk when a person leaves your company. That system must let your IT department lock, track, wipe and control the outgoing employee's company-owned or their personal devices that they use at the office. These are known as Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD).

Software Solution

IBM's MaaS360 with Watson, is a cognitive approach to unified endpoint management, offering comprehensive data protection by allowing businesses to locate, lock and wipe proprietary data from outgoing employee BYODs while keeping the ex-employee's private information private. It also allows for business owners/operators to quarantine mobile devices in the event of security concerns. Having the right software is essential to securing your business in such a situation.

The Exit

Beyond a MDM system, a rigorous and thorough written due diligence process should be followed to help protect against any possible disruption. Here are some suggestions for what that may cover:


  • Perform an exit interview. Review with the employee what the company needs to retain, whether it be hardware, software, or online or hard copy documents. Since there's a need to control BYODs, at least regarding company information, part of the discussion should feature how that will be achieved.

  • Repossess company devices. There may be instances where outgoing employees, in addition to BYOD devices, have utilized company-issued laptops, Tablets or Smartphones for operational or situational reasons. In such cases, these devices should be turned over to the company immediately.

  • Redirect employee email. Have it forwarded to the person's direct manager.

  • Shut down the employee's access to all the company's networks (including social media) and change passwords. If the about-to-depart employee had access to networks (i.e. social media communication accounts), delete the employee's access to the network and change all passwords for these access points.

  • Get security passes back. You'll want to make sure that any security passes or keys that enable access to company properties are collected.

  • Deactivate and collect company-issued credit cards. This should be obvious, but never let an ex-employee have access to your company's financial assets.

By taking the above steps, you lessen the possibility that your business could suffer when employees leave the scene. Due diligence is key to prevention of loss and security risks.

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