25% of Former Employees Retain Access to Your Business

Ensuring the security of sensitive data and confidential information is paramount. One often-overlooked aspect that poses a significant threat to data security is the lingering access granted to past employees. Shockingly, research indicates that a staggering 25% of former employees still retain access to their former employers’ business systems, posing a potential risk to the organisation.

The Looming Security Challenge

As businesses embrace digital transformation and leverage various software applications through Software as a Service (SaaS) models. This assists with managing access permissions becomes increasingly complex. Employee onboarding and offboarding are critical phases in the employment lifecycle, and any oversight in revoking access can result in a security breach.

The Disconnect in Offboarding

Offboarding, the process of removing access and privileges when an employee leaves an organisation, is where the potential threat lies. In the rush to manage the logistics of an employee departure, ensuring all access points are closed often takes a backseat. This oversight could be attributed to manual processes, lack of a centralised system, or a gap in communication between HR and IT departments.

The Risks Involved

When former employees retain access, they may have the ability to:

  1. Access Sensitive Data: Former employees can potentially access confidential business data, client information, and proprietary systems.
  2. Compromise Security: Unrestricted access might allow ex-employees to compromise the security of the business network, introducing vulnerabilities.
  3. Data Breaches: In the event of a disgruntled former employee, there is a risk of intentional data breaches or leaks.

Mitigating the Risk with SaaS Management

To address this security loophole, businesses need robust SaaS management practices, especially during the offboarding process. Implementing a comprehensive SaaS management system is crucial to:

  1. Automate Deprovisioning: Utilise automation to ensure that access is promptly revoked upon an employee’s departure, leaving no room for oversight.
  2. Centralise Access Control: Implement a centralised system that manages access permissions across all SaaS applications, ensuring consistency and thoroughness.
  3. Regular Audits: Conduct regular audits to review and update access permissions, identifying and rectifying any discrepancies.
  4. Enhance Communication: Foster seamless communication between HR and IT departments to ensure that offboarding procedures are executed effectively.

SaaS Management in South Africa

The importance of SaaS management cannot be overstated. Protecting sensitive information, maintaining compliance with data protection regulations, and fortifying cybersecurity defences are imperative for the success and reputation of businesses in the region.

Final Thoughts

As businesses navigate the complexities of the digital age, securing data and minimising risks should be at the forefront of their priorities. The statistic revealing that 25% of past employees retain access to business systems serves as a wake-up call. By implementing robust SaaS management practices, businesses can safeguard their assets, maintain data integrity, and fortify their cybersecurity defences against potential threats.