4 Ways to Protect Your Data from Disgruntled Employees

You know the type. They’re unmotivated, turn down new projects and work on crossword puzzles during meetings (here’s to you, Stanley Hudson). They only attend work events when there’s free food. They’re disgruntled employees.

Every company has at least one of these. In fact, unhappy employees outnumber happy employees two to one. While many of these employees simply check out and resemble the Walking Dead shuffling to the coffee machine and then back 3-4 times a day, other employees have more sinister motives.

43% of data breaches are caused by an insider threat, half of which are intentional. Employees harboring a grudge can pose a massive risk to your company’s data. They can share sensitive data with rival companies, delete or modify files, or even block access to the network depending on their authorization level and privileges. Learn how you can keep disgruntled employees from sabotaging your business:

1) Disable accounts

You know that famous scene in Titanic where Leonardo DiCaprio is clinging to the door floating in the ocean, and Kate Winslet says, “I’ll never let go, Jack”? And, then she does the exact opposite, and lets go.

Your company can learn from this tearjerker scene (no, I’m not crying; I have something in my eye). As soon as an employee leaves the company, let them go completely. It doesn’t matter if they left of their own accord, you parted ways amicably and you meet every week for Quizzo. Even if you’re the best of buddies, it’s still in your best interest to sever all digital ties and disable any of their work accounts.

You never know when things may turn sour, and suddenly you have your own personal Hamlet hungry for revenge and ready to misuse your business’s sensitive data. Mitigate risks by revoking access to your VPN, cloud-based storage (Google Drive, Dropbox), and other cloud-based tools such as Salesforce or Paypal.

2) Monitor user behavior

Monitoring user activity is critical to ensuring data security, especially in an increasingly bring your own device era. By adopting network monitoring tools or software, employers can look out for any suspicious activity such as multiple failed logins, data tampering, bulk file copying or mass file deletion.

Avoid going overboard with your employee monitoring. If you’re watching their every move, employees may start thinking of you as Big Brother rather than the cool boss who buys everyone danishes on Fridays.

3) Control data access

Does every employee really need access to your customers’ contact and billing information? We’re going to hazard a guess and say no.

Closely monitor your employees’ access to information and adjust privileges as necessary. Prevent employees from accessing data that has no relevance to their work responsibilities. Be very selective about who receives admin access. Only give these privileges to a small, well-trusted group of employees.

4) Frequently backup data

The best way to protect your data from disgruntled employees is regular backups. Now, we’re not talking about an external hard drive hidden under your mattress (no, that’s not where I keep my backed up data. Why do you ask?). We mean the real deal.

By implementing a comprehensive backup and recovery solution, you protect your business against not only outside, but inside threats. If an ex-employee happens to delete sensitive information, you can easily and quickly restore data and avoid the high costs of downtime and data loss.

Now, you may be asking yourself, how can I develop a data recovery solution that works for my business? Or, you may be wondering, couldn’t both Jack and Rose fit on the door?

I can’t confidently answer the latter, but I can answer the former. Learn how we helped Allies Healthcare develop a data recovery solution customized to their unique requirements by reading our case study below.

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