Methods for Securing Sensitive Data Using Automated Offboarding

Employees today have significantly greater access to corporate data than ever before. As the number of SaaS programs expands, so makes a departing employee’s impact. It is a key technique to secure sensitive data if the app, system, and device access are not swiftly terminated.


If dissatisfied employees’ access isn’t terminated soon after termination, they might wreak substantial harm.


What is Automated Offboarding?


Offboarding automation is the use of automation to simplify the entire offboarding process. It necessitates using an enterprise automation platform that listens to your apps for business events (or triggers) that generate real-time consequences (or actions).


Ways to Secure Sensitive Data with Automated Offboarding

Ways of automated offboarding
Ways of automated offboarding

Let’s take a detailed look at the crucial elements for a successful and efficient offboarding approach that drastically reduces the likelihood of a data security issue.


1. Remove Account and Data Access


Deprovisioning is an integral part of the employee offboarding process. While this step may be completed manually, automating it using an Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution can shorten the time it takes to revoke user credentials and verify that the employee no longer has access to their accounts.


2. Create a Reliable Employee Offboarding Checklist


Whatever technique you choose, your offboarding approach should be rigorously planned and executed. By designing an offboarding checklist, you guarantee that nothing is neglected or forgotten, and risk is managed accordingly. This needs a thoroughly educated HR department aware of these critical processes.


The offboarding procedure must be well managed. Following a customized employee offboarding checklist ensures that key data security actions are not forgotten or neglected.


Risk mitigation during termination entails a combination of administrative and technological issues. Involve key stakeholders from HR, IT, and management while developing your offboarding checklist stages to ensure that each component is handled.


3. Keep an Eye on Employee Computer Activity


The days preceding an employee’s departure are ideal for data theft and other high-risk behavior. Exiting workers’ computer usage must be thoroughly watched for questionable behavior.


Monitoring leaving workers’ computer activity allows you to spot instances of attempted data theft before the data is compromised. Configuring context-sensitive warnings in your data loss prevention and staff monitoring tools can make this procedure less resource heavy.


The days running up to termination are prime times for data theft, especially if the employee is aware that they are about to be fired. Your IT staff should be notified of the impending termination and told to monitor any computer actions involving the employee. Abnormal, strange, or suspicious behavior should be recorded and observed.


  • Careful monitoring of file transfers, particularly to external hardware


  • Keeping track of all emails sent and received


  • Examining login activity, both locally and remotely, for strange devices or locations


  • Monitoring application use


  • Examining internet history


4. Maintaining Clear IT Inventory


Inventory management is a critical best practice for any organization, and it is essential for minimizing data security breaches caused by ex-employees. To avoid missing anything, acquire all corporate assets from the departing employee and utilize your existing inventory list (you have one, right?). Everything counts now – USB sticks, key cards, and so on.


5. Inform IT Personnel of Impending Terminations


Human resources, direct management, and IT must cooperate to secure data throughout termination proceedings. Giving IT workers prior warning guarantees they are prepared to promptly de-provision access to company accounts and monitor employee computer activity for suspicious behavior in the run-up to the termination.


You should also notify present employees of the termination when appropriate. This will prevent rumors and keep staff safe from social engineering methods. Unaware employees may provide the former employee unauthorized access to firm assets.


IT Offboarding Checklist & Security Guidelines

IT offboarding checklist
IT offboarding checklist

These security standards focus on an organization’s SaaS application security and cover asset recovery, password resetting, data management, etc. Let’s go over them one by one.


1. Communicate the Employee’s Exit


Everyone in the team, including supervisors and team members, should be informed of the employee’s departure. This will allow them to express gratitude to the employee for their efforts. If the employee contacts customers, tell them of the person’s leaving and who will take over the account.


2. Recover Company Assets: A System-of-Record is Required for Proper Offboarding Every Time


In today’s remote working environment, almost all employees use part of the company’s services and assets. They may be given laptops, desktops, mobile phones, SaaS subscriptions, and access to the company’s confidential data.


All assets and equipment must be returned when an individual leaves a position. The IT staff must ensure that all assets have been gathered.


While many businesses maintain track of hardware assets and who has received them, the same cannot be said for software subscriptions. Even if they retain an inventory of SaaS subscriptions, it is done via Google Sheets/Excels, Airtable, and other similar programs. This method of controlling SaaS presents several issues.


For example, you must update applications and licensing data if existing licenses are changed or a new app is acquired. Not only is it time-consuming, but these papers are riddled with mistakes. Furthermore, specific duties, such as managing access rights, are impossible.


As a result, IT teams must maintain track of software assets and their present owners. This is to avoid the loss of corporate property and the resulting data breaches.


As a result, two critical steps must be followed: consolidation and automation of the termination process.


Offboarding necessitates the execution of many tasks at the same time. Different departments, such as HR and IT teams, are involved in the process, necessitating these departments to collaborate. Consolidating the termination procedure allows for a more seamless transfer of duties and data:


To automate offboarding, first, visualize the offboarding procedure. Then, depending on your workflow, multiple technologies may inform the appropriate teams to execute their part, allowing things to run in parallel or sequence. Offboarding automation can safeguard your organization from internal security dangers and save time and effort.


3. Handle Paperwork


In addition to the employee’s termination or resignation letter, non-disclosure or non-compete agreements should be filed.


4. Fortify Shared Applications and Update Applications’ Ownership


The next step in offboarding is altering the ex-system employees, application ownership, and password.


This procedure aids in the prevention of data breaches and damage to the organization’s security and profitability. Because all team members would have had access to the data, changing the password on the shared account is required. As a result, when one of the team members quits, the IT team should be notified so that the password for the shared account may be changed.


Due to the security dangers involved, sharing account passwords inside teams is not recommended. Each user must have an account.


Finally, it is critical to share the ex-email employee’s address so that other contacts/employees know the person’s departure via an automated reply and that a new employee will take over the function.


5. Complete the Payroll Procedure


To complete their final pay, communicate with the payroll department. Other requirements for Benefits, 401K, PTO Balance, Insurance, and Tax-related documents should be resolved.


6. Back Up Your Data to Ensure a Smooth Data Transfer and Responsibilities


Data is a valuable asset to any organization. To minimize data loss, knowledge transfer, and security concerns, preserve data backup in all subscription accounts during offboarding—at least for some time until a new joiner replaces the position.


A key consideration here is that you must be aware of all the SaaS apps the employee used since most of the data is stored in these apps.


7. Exit Interview


Conducting an open interview to get honest feedback on what works and what doesn’t will help you enhance your work environment, leadership, and overall organization.


After you’ve completed the initial formalities, it’s time to check off the IT offboarding items to ensure data security in your organization.


What Tool to use for the Automated Offboarding Process?


More products on the market promise to provide “user-friendly” automation features. Because the advantages of automating HR operations are vast, more vendors are attempting to supply those services.


Wading through the automation choices, which range from iPaaS to IDaaS with automation add-ons, may be overwhelming. However, if you want to ensure that anybody on your IT staff can design and manage processes quickly, a SaaS management platform (SMP) is the best option.


An SMP, such as Spenza, collects and analyses information from all apps to which it is linked. Spenza may leverage this operational knowledge to make workflows easier to manage, even for lengthy, complicated procedures like staff offboarding.




Employees upset about an impending firing represent a substantial risk to data security. Their discontent may drive them to steal critical information and sell it to competitors or threat actors. Offboarding risks may be reduced by carefully managing the offboarding process, checking employee computer activities, and maintaining control over sensitive data access.


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