By Zach DeMeyer Posted November 15, 2019
Improper employee offboarding can spell disaster. By automating the process, organizations minimize offboarding overhead while preventing potential long-term catastrophes.
Why Automate Offboarding?
The process of fully offboarding a user can take HR and IT weeks. One of the most important aspects of the process is ensuring that an employee’s access to their IT resources is properly removed. If not, a disgruntled ex-employee can use their remaining access to wreak havoc on an organization.
For example, a terminated IT employee at an online university used his lingering admin access to change the credentials to the school’s G Suite™, locking all users out of their accounts. He then held the credentials ransom to the tune of $200k, holding the over 2,000 email and course work accounts hostage until the problem was solved after a long legal battle.
In another case, the head chef at a pub in the UK was fired after a dispute over leave time. The chef used his uninhibited access to the company’s Twitter account to inform the public of his termination, as well as the dark circumstances behind it.
With unchecked access after termination, employees can even affect ecommerce and other critical company infrastructure. In 2016, a Marriott employee used lingering credentials to reduce nightly rates to as low as $12, spelling a brief disaster for the hotel giant.
The above examples are only a few of the many occasions when an ex-employee has used residual access to take revenge on their former employer. Imagine what an angry former employee could do with access to critical infrastructure in AWS® or something similar.
By ensuring that a terminated employee’s access is completely deprovisioned, these mishaps can be avoided. Of course, that is often easier said than done, especially if it has to be done manually. Considering the fact that an employee will often have access to applications, infrastructure, file servers, etc., as well as the system(s) they use to access them all, removing access across this wide surface area can take a long time.