Companies Risk Data Security Without Robust Employee Exit Policies: The Kiplinger Letter

As businesses rely heavily on digital information, the risks of data breaches are all the more prevalent without policies in place.

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To help you understand the data security risks to companies when employees leave and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest…

A stark reminder to consider cybersecurity when an employee leaves.  A fired worker recently got jail time for damaging an IT network. The former IT employee caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage by using the company’s laptop to deploy malware, delete code, lock workers out of software services and other bad behavior. 

The incident happened in 2020 after on-the-job wrongdoing led to his termination from a California bank. He was recently sentenced to two years in prison and charged $529,000 in restitution. 

Some advice for companies with workers leaving or being laid off: 

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  • Make sure you have a plan and policies for quickly shutting off online services.
  • Consider services that can track remote systems and render them inoperable.
  • Don’t have online services and tools with credentials available to only one worker. 
  • Don’t forget contractors and consultants that have access to certain systems.
  • Plan to update credentials when needed, even if shared login/password information is against company policy, employees could be doing it to save time.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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John Miley
Senior Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter

John Miley is a Senior Associate Editor at The Kiplinger Letter. He mainly covers technology, telecom and education, but will jump on other important business topics as needed. In his role, he provides timely forecasts about emerging technologies, business trends and government regulations. He also edits stories for the weekly publication and has written and edited e-mail newsletters.

He joined Kiplinger in August 2010 as a reporter for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, where he wrote stories, fact-checked articles and researched investing data. After two years at the magazine, he moved to the Letter, where he has been for the last decade. He holds a BA from Bates College and a master’s degree in magazine journalism from Northwestern University, where he specialized in business reporting. An avid runner and a former decathlete, he has written about fitness and competed in triathlons.