Departing Employees Should Not Mean Departing Data: How to Secure your IT Networks

 In Education

How to Secure your IT Networks

It is a natural part of business life. Staff come and go. During their time with your company, employees will have access to lots of information and databases which are private and confidential to people within those company walls. Or, in the era of cloud technology, authorised users the company’s computer network at least. In fact, one survey found that 96% of its respondents use cloud computing. So, how do you ensure that company data stays exactly that when a team member decides to leave? Here, we look at how to secure your IT networks when colleagues hand in their notice.

Monitor activities

It should be standard practice that a company’s IT function monitors what is happening across their networks. This will not only give insight into how to secure your IT networks based on how they are used. But, it will also ensure that any awry or unauthorised usage does not go by unnoticed. Cloud technology packages are perfect business solutions for many. But, they can provide unprecedented access to company information if not used responsibly. Keep on top of who is using what so it is easy to prevent access, when required. This sort of monitoring is also becoming a widely accepted norm – research has shown that nearly 78% of major US companies monitor their employees by checking their email, internet, phone calls or computer files.

Put it in black and whtie

A company needs a strict policy and code of conduct when it comes to data use and security. This is more important than ever given the recent introduction of GDPR and the growth of BYOD. However, that policy should also cover modern basics such as cybersecurity. Some employees may not think this is a consideration for them – but everyone needs to know how to secure your IT networks. This is especially the case when you consider that one in 131 emails contains a malware. Train up your staff on what to do when they are part of the team. That way, it won’t come as a shock when you take the same necessary security steps whilst sorting out their P45.

Cut them off

By building a culture of security throughout your company, consulting colleagues on how to keep your IT and data secure when they leave their job will just become part of the process. It may sound brutal, but it is essential to cut off physical access to the company’s data and IT network as soon as an employee leaves. Change their password at the least, disable their account and erase traces of data from every device – properly. The network can be increasingly safeguarded by providing logins to the network through specific IP addresses only or by providing multi-layer authentication. This means that, as well as a password, a user also has to provide credentials through something they have, like a mobile phone, or something even more personal than that like their fingerprint or voice. This will help to keep any unwitting or unwelcome logins at bay.

Lay down the law

A policy which you should not shy away from is grounds for ‘acceptable use’. What your company deems as acceptable when it comes to how to secure your IT networks could be very different to other companies. It also depends on what access to data and company information you already provide for your teams. This is also likely to vary greatly within one organisation depending on job function and staff seniority. Personalise what your company will allow and be specific about the penalties employees could face for flouting it. More than two-thirds of organisations experience data theft when employees depart. So, this element of risk cannot be ignored.

Link IT are the experts on how to secure your IT networks secure to matter whether your employees are coming or going. Contact us to find out more.

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