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Securely Managing Employee Turnover: 3 Tips

Don’t let the process spiral into organizational chaos. Here are steps you can take to keep your company safe.

Sometimes it’s mutual, other times it’s not. Either way, it’s inevitable: employees — entry-level and executive alike — come and go. Unfortunately, we often overlook the risks and vulnerabilities that employee turnover can introduce, particularly from an IT security standpoint.

Although disgruntled employees and whistleblowers raise the most alarm, don’t be naive: not every outbound worker is an Edward Snowden or a Chelsea Manning, and risks aren’t limited to bad intentions. Even people who leave on the best of terms can cause problems.

Consider, for instance, an employee who takes copies of a report he wrote, believing it might be of value to his professional portfolio. Two years later, he’s looking for a new position and, with no sense of malice whatsoever, shares that portfolio during the interview process. Unfortunately, that document also happens to contain highly sensitive information — and the organization where he’s interviewing happens to be a major competitor. It’s all too common: an estimated 60% of employees admit to taking corporate data when they leave an organization.

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