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Organizations May Lose Powerful Data with Terminated Employees

Organizations May Lose Powerful Data with Terminated Employees
Hendershot Cowart, P.C.

Are Texas companies secure enough to terminate employees when they feel it is necessary? Just as whistleblowers claim to be afraid of retaliation when they reveal harmful information about a company or organization, companies may need to be worried that employees that laid off or terminated employees may retaliate by stealing company data. This is what one new study confirms.

An identity management company from Austin, Texas, recently put out a "2013 Market Pulse Survey" with data collected from IT professionals. The results were not good. From 400 IT technicians who were surveyed, 46 percent did not believe their security controls protected access to confidential company information. This is almost half. They believed that their processes for granting access to employees and revoking employees' access to company information was not sufficient.

Data confidentiality is becoming a big problem across the globe, with the lack of ability to securely protect websites from hackers, and now, possibly from disgruntled employees, too. Approximately, 54 percent of the IT professionals surveyed also claimed that employees had tried to gain access to their company data after being terminated. That is a scary statistic. In addition, a good number of them felt like the employees would be willing to sell company information if the price was right.

Breaching company information can be a serious violation. It can jeopardize the future income of a company by sharing trade secrets with competitors. Companies must be careful when terminating an employee to ensure that they are not carrying sensitive information out the door with them. Their access to all company websites, email and other media should be revoked immediately. A company's ability to revoke privileges and access should be up to par.

Company attorneys should be notified immediately if a suspected breach of information has been revealed. They may also be consulted to ensure the proper legal contracts and agreements are in place, and Occupational Health and Safety Administration security and safety procedures are being followed.

Source:, "For the right price, employees would sell company data, says new study" Marcos Colon, Dec. 12, 2013