How to Curb Data Breach by Former Employees of a Company

Businesses all over the world strive to achieve success. The best way to do so is by having the best and most talented employees. To have the best and talented employees starts with recruitment and providing them with the best working conditions and technologies. Behind such successes of such companies lurking behind that is the question about what happens when employees decide to leave the company?

In most cases, the company will find a capable replacement for the soon to be ex-employee. They will tie loose ends in any of the projects the employee was part of and will through him/her a farewell party. However, at times an employee may leave on bad terms with the company. Such a departure may not be good for the company as the employee might try to revenge against the company sometime in the future if they still have access to some of the operations of the company such as finances, login passwords and so on. In such situations, therefore, it is the role of the company to ensure that they have secured their systems against such kind of misfortunes.

We have all seen the former damage employees have done to their former companies when they leave in bad blood with the company. For instance, there was a huge data breach in OFCOM by a former employee who shared a six years’ data of the company’s activities to his new employer, who damagingly happened to be a broadcaster. Amazingly, the broadcaster decided to inform OFCOM about the breach and don’t use the information to exploit OFCOM.

In a research done by OneLogin, it was discovered that despite the threat posed by former employees, about 58% of them still have access to their former company’s corporate network even after leaving the company. It was also found that 24% of businesses experience data breaches from as a result of the actions of their ex-employees. Data breaches are very catastrophic to the reputation of the company and can be used by business competitors to know your business strategies.

Another example of a company which experienced the damage a former employee can do was the Marriott Hotels in 2016. Marriott Hotels had fired one employee in August 2016 and was ordered not to access the internal systems of the company. However, the employee was able to access the hotel’s reservation systems from their home. The employee decided to slice the company’s room booking rates from $159-$400 to merely $12-$59 costing Marriott Hotels $50,000.

A word from a former employee is not just enough; a company can use automated processes to deprovision the employee any access to the company’s corporate accounts minutes after termination of the employee’s contract. However, OneLogin’s research found out that only 50% of UK businesses have installed automated provisioning technologies. This shows how vulnerable companies are to any activities of any disgruntled former employees who have an ill motive.