For the modern small business owner, there are situations that you are forced to deal with that are frustrating; but, in the course of doing business would be considered normal. Then there are other situations that arise where, every step of the way, the figurative floor falls out from under your feet and you are forced to react quickly. Some of these circumstances can be pretty spooky for your business.
The Walking, Talking Dead
Unfortunately, employees sometimes do things that force a business owner or manager to terminate his/her employment contract. Other employees leave if they have problems with management or find better opportunities elsewhere. Unfortunately for the business, a clean break may not be possible, and a disgruntled former employee can make things extremely difficult for your business.
One way that a former employee can virtually haunt your business is through the use of social media. If it was a rough break, a former employee can slander your business on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as social media designed for employer reviews like LinkedIn and the anonymous review site, Glassdoor. This may be nothing more than a hindrance, and typically no one is going to pay a solitary source much mind, but if multiple complaints of the same nature start popping up on social media, you might spook the high-end talent out of considering working with your business.
Another way former employees can hurt your business, is if you let them. When they leave, you have to remember to ensure that any account authorization they had access to is deleted. There have been cases where former employees will make their way onto their former company’s infrastructure or network and corrupt things, either manually or with the help of malware.
Typically, those who would go ahead and effectively hack their former employers’ systems, know what they are looking for, and use this access to make it more difficult for a company’s business to run efficiently. As long as your IT administrators have a plan on how to remove former users and do so immediately after the employee is let go, this may not be much of an issue.
Some former employees have deliberately built in a way into a network away from the procedural protocols outlined by IT administrators. In these cases, a full network audit is necessary to ensure that any trace of the worker is removed promptly. Any other result keeps the potential for jaded former employees to do some pretty disgusting things to your company’s network.
Trick or Treating
While some former employees want to take it out on their former employer, some former employees will want to steal company data, client data, or intellectual property. In fact, in one study done by security experts Symantec, data showed that nearly half of all fired employees had kept some sort of confidential corporate information. While this may not be a massive deal, 40 percent of them planned on using that data at a new job.
While organizations may not be able to completely avoid this from happening, there are some courses of action that can be taken to ensure that this data isn’t used against their own company. Make every employee sign, and enforce, a non-compete agreement, while also utilizing access control systems to ensure the people who don’t need certain information, don’t have access to said information. Giving people fewer chances to make off with data is a great way to keep people from taking it in the first place.
Business can be scary sometimes, and the last thing you need is for your bottom line to be hacked and slashed because of your former employees. At Fuse Technology Group , we can help you protect your data and network from all manners of threats; and; help make sure that former employees don’t haunt you long after their gone.