Which sounds better for business: a PR disaster, or a non-event?
Follow these four simple steps when exiting employees and the better choice is yours.
Imagine you had to let a team member go and the conversation didn’t go well. They’re upset and angry. You knew it wouldn’t be easy, and redundancies never are, but things got heated and your ex-employee threatened to take company files and send emails to clients. What do you do?
When a new employee joins your business, it’s usually pretty clear what needs to happen from an IT perspective. The process of getting IT up and running for a new team member can vary from business to business, but generally most of us know the drill when it comes to ‘on-boarding’ IT.
So what about ‘de-boarding’? De-boarding isn’t discussed as often as on-boarding, but it’s just as critical, maybe more so. De-boarding is the process of removing an ex-employee’s access to your company’s IT systems and infrastructure.
Once an ex-employee leaves your business, if they still have IT access, they can cause more harm than if they were still in the building – particularly if they have a score to settle.
In most cases, ex-employees won’t do something malicious like take company data or email clients – but it’s happened to plenty of companies before, so why take the risk?
De-boarding IT doesn’t sound exciting, so why should I care?
You should care a lot, because best practice IT de-boarding means:
- Your business information is safe and you minimise security threats
- Your brand and client relationships are protected
- You avoid ugly incidents and malicious behaviour
- You save and conserve company resources like data, subscriptions and licencing
- Your broader team won’t be subjected to nasty people issues, and
- It puts you in control of what could otherwise be a risky situation.
So what should you do when you’re exiting an employee?
You can follow these four simple IT de-boarding steps to safeguard your business when employees leave:
Step one: get your IT team or provider involved upfront
- Exiting employees can be an emotional and stressful time for everyone, and that’s why it’s critical you plan ahead to ensure the right process is followed. Take your IT team or provider into confidence and let them know you’ll be exiting an employee. You’ll need their help to take action (it helps to have an IT team or partner on board that you trust).
- Ideally your IT team or provider are told before you meet with the employee, so they can block access to systems while your meeting with the employee is taking place.
- Once you’ve let your IT team or partner know, they’re responsible for taking immediate action and documenting the process (in case you have to explain your actions later).
- In some cases you’ll also need to agree with Human Resources the best time to stagger these steps, based on the circumstances around your employee’s termination.
Step two: shut down access
There are two key actions involved in this one. You’ll need to:
- Change the password on the domain controller, and
- Change the password on any line of business applications e.g. Salesforce, PRONTO or SAP.
Step three: de-board your ex-employee
- Disable your ex-employee’s account on Office 365 and line of business applications
- Remove any licencing so that it goes back into the licencing pool for your business (saving you money).
- Determine how your ex-employee’s emails will be handled after they leave and make suitable arrangements.
- Ensure remote access and any other accounts that are accessible outside the office have been disabled or blocked.
- Make a plan for obtaining assets like mobile phones, laptops, dongles, access keys, usbs, files and any other IT assets or accessories.
Step four: check and clean up
- Test and check the above actions have been taken.
- Once your ex-employee has formally exited, test email and server access again to ensure all steps have been actioned properly and nothing is left active.
- Monitor the situation over a period in case there’s an attempt by your ex-employee to access files or information.
Your business is worth protecting, so it’s worth getting your IT right. If you need an IT partner you can trust to take care of de-boarding and all of your IT needs, let’s talk give us a call on 1300 700 187.