Thursday, March 05, 2009

Protecting Your Network During Layoffs

In tough economic times, like these, it's important for companies to get a handle on restricting system access to departing employees. Laid off employees are more likely to attempt to steal privileged company data or try to hack into IT systems later, according to Computer World.

In a 2008 study conducted by Cyber-Ark, 88 percent of IT administrators would consider taking valuable company with them, if they were to be laid off tomorrow.

Here are some security tips for protecting your network during layoffs:

* Clearly and completely document each worker's access to the network, applications, servers and the physical building.
* Shut down remote connections, including pcAnywhere systems and VPNs.
* Invalidate usernames and passwords.
* If the employee worked in IT, change root access and network access.
* Shut down external access to the telephone system.
* Make sure handhelds, smartphones and cell phones are turned in along with PCs and laptops.
* Collect ID cards.
* Use monitoring software to keep an eye on network traffic.

I also have more details in a chapter devoted to this topic in my book, The Little Black Book of Computer Security, Second Edition. Here's an excerpt from my first edition on termination procedures posted by TechTarget.

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