When an employee quits or is let go, the fear of stolen or leaked company data may linger with the employer, and rightly so.
Unfortunately, Apple recently experienced data theft from a former employee. In July 2018, former Apple engineer, Xiaolang Zhang, was arrested for stealing Apple’s information on a self-driving car project. Zhang reportedly communicated and exchanged confidential data to another company, XMotors.
Enforcing theft prevention can help protect company data and diminish liability down the road. Below are 4 actions that companies could take to strengthen theft prevention.
Eliminating employee access is probably the most important and most obvious task after an employee leaves a company. Clean the slate by obtaining keys or keycards, changing passwords, and having the employee sign a confidentiality document before he or she leaves. Implementing or changing multi-factor authentication may also provide an extra layer or security.
Writing clear and detailed policies can inform all parties of the rules and procedures around data protection. An Acceptable Use Policy can be an effective reference for employees in case questions or concerns arise. Outlining violations and penalties would also be necessary in case of future prosecution. Additionally, completed policy documents can be handed to onboarding employees who can then learn the policies right away.
Developing a security culture within the company can help employees stay accountable. Conducting employee training on data protection may keep the company versed on the dos and don’ts around information security. As previously mentioned, an Acceptable Use Policy acts as a guide that can raise security awareness as well.
Gaining general knowledge of the Cloud and its role in the company network can keep Cloud components under control. It’s a good idea to monitor Cloud applications where sensitive data is stored and who has access to it.
Establishing theft prevention may decrease the likelihood of a situation like Apple’s. Team up with the IT department or IT provider and develop strategies for the company’s best interests. Theft prevention is crucial to IT security and can offer some peace of mind as employees are granted access to a network and its data.