Secure Device Offboarding Begins with Onboarding

Big Deal shows no signs of slowing down.

20% of workers worldwide are planning to quit their jobs this year. This is not unexpected from a cost and cultural point of view, but it is also safe. The resulting workforce faces a significant data reporting problem, exacerbated by the remote/modern landscape.

So, it’s no surprise that 98% of business leaders are concerned about cyber security due to high employee turnover – specifically, Insider Risk. Insider Risk refers to a data disclosure event (whether intentional or unintentional) that originates within the company, including employees who have left.

The main concerns of business leaders are personal device usage and visibility. More than half (55%) of employees admit to using personal devices for work occasionally. So 71% of business leaders are concerned about employees who end up keeping sensitive data on their personal devices or in cloud storage.

The same amount (71%) of business leaders say that they do not see the data that employees send to other companies, and are especially concerned if employees are transferring to competitors.

Tips for safely removing remote worker devices

Not every organization can afford an in-house security management team, but every organization should implement basic data protection measures to mitigate security risks during employee migration.

It is important to note that a security tool does not start during the migration. Steps taken before a device is allowed to remotely charge can reduce security risks further down the line.

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Here are 3 easy steps you can take to ensure a safe workplace for remote workers.

Provide each employee with a company device (not BYOD models)

The easiest way to reduce the use of personal devices is to give devices to employees.

Bring your own device (BYOD) policy is an illusion of saving business money on purchasing equipment. But the average data breach is estimated to cost $4.35m. Given that more than half of IT professionals believe that using personal devices increases the risk of a security breach, this cost savings may prove financially beneficial in the long run.

Providing tools to remote workers has never been easier, thanks to the rise of home office management solutions since the start of the pandemic.

Pre-order the equipment before shipping

If employees set up their work devices, they may use their Google or Apple ID to log into applications. This makes your organization vulnerable to data theft.

Unless you have security measures in place to prevent this, personal logins will sync data to the cloud for all devices connected to that employee’s account. So your employee can download sensitive data on their personal device using their personal login, and keep that data after they leave your organization.

If you prepare the equipment (pre-configured) before deployment, you can not only create user accounts for your employees to prevent the use of personal logins, but also include policies security on the device to reduce other security breach risks.

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Choose a device management provider that can block USB usage, software installation and more

Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) systems allow you to remotely monitor, secure and manage devices. Make sure your provider offers the following capabilities to limit security risks when running:

Restriction of USB usage

Organizations can review email and other online tools. But USBs and other portable storage devices are a real blind spot for IT and security teams, especially when staff devices leave company offices.

With unrestricted use, employees can quickly and easily store sensitive data – including emails, contact lists, databases and more – on these devices, and keep these talks for a long time before they left.

Make sure your MDM can prevent USB device use – including flash drives, USB cameras, and thumb drives – across all enterprise devices.

Prevent the use of unauthorized apps

Shadow IT – when employees use IT systems, tools, applications etc. without the knowledge or permission of the IT department – ​​has entered the radars of IT security teams and the rise of remote work .

Many organizations create a list of acceptable applications, without putting in place measures to prevent unauthorized applications. However, allowing employees to download applications of their choice increases the risk of data leakage (for example, employees exchanging sensitive business data via Whatsapp), malware infects your devices etc.

Mitigate these risks by restricting download capabilities through your MDM.

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Ability to remotely lock or wipe device data

If your employees use their devices outside of your office, it is important that you can wipe the data from and lock them. The reasons for this go beyond getting out. A laptop is stolen every 53 seconds, and a lost work laptop is estimated to cost a business over $49,000.

Taking remote workers out of time isn’t as simple as asking them to vacate their desks and put away their work equipment. The employee will hold their device until you can collect it, which could take weeks if it’s in a hard-to-reach area or the communication is slow.

If you have the ability to remotely wipe your device, you can wipe company data when your employee’s contract ends.

About the Author

Sami Bouremoum is the CEO of Hofy. Offering competitive remote work programs is even more important now. But managing a group of remote offices is very time and money consuming. Home office shipping can cost hundreds of pounds in courier and customs fees, and it can take hours to navigate the tax and regulatory laws that apply to shipping equipment to other countries. That’s the entry point. The world is getting smaller for HR and IT teams. Our software and logic turn hours of manual work into seconds, reducing the daunting task of provisioning and managing remote work tools around the world to just running a SaaS tool.

Featured image: ©Progressman


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