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Are leavers a threat to your data? What the Great Resignation means for your data protection controls

The Great Resignation has become more than just anecdotal. This month, the chief UK economist at Deutsche Bank said analysis of official data suggests that people in the U.K. are resigning at the highest rate since 2009. In the U.S., a record 4.5 million people resigned from their job in November 2020 alone.

We’re not here to debate the motivations behind the Great Resignation (many suggest the re-opening of offices after Covid-19 has led to a sudden desire to drop the commute forever and maintain the work/life balance discovered during the pandemic). Instead, what interests us is the impact of this sudden departure of employees on an organization’s sensitive data.

The Great Resignation and the Rise of Insider Threats

As most organizations already know, leavers can represent an immediate insider threat. Customer contacts, Salesforce reports, presentations, process documents, and more; it’s all fair game for leavers.

Typically, there’s no malice behind their actions. It’s simply a desire to keep hold of data that could benefit them in their new role. Perhaps a list of potential sales contacts, or simply some examples of their work they’d like to keep for reference.

Of course, that’s not to say it’s all without malice. There are plenty of examples of employees taking confidential information, designs, and other sensitive materials with them to a new employer.

Either way, the result is a loss of data. At worst, this could include PII, PHI, or credit card numbers, landing your organization with hefty regulatory fines and reputational damage.

The challenge of protecting against insider threats has unfortunately been magnified by the work-from-home revolution and the fact that your employees (and your data) are no longer protected by the corporate network. Without the correct security measures in place, it takes just seconds to disconnect from the VPN and copy files to personal cloud accounts or go offline completely and copy the files to a removable USB storage device.

“This isn’t about trusting employees,” explains CoSoSys CMO, Tim Deluca-Smith. “When we talk about leavers and the insider threat they present to your data, employees often aren’t acting with bad intentions. They simply want to retain information that could help them in their next job. They aren’t thinking about the regulatory implications of taking PII or the operational disruption that can come from the loss of confidential company files.”

How to decrease internal data security risks?

Tools like Endpoint Protector by CoSoSys are designed to combat scenarios just like this. By managing access to peripheral storage devices or building Data Loss Prevention policies to block the transmission of certain data sets, organizations gain the visibility and control they need to control sensitive data and eliminate the risk of data leaving the endpoint.

Even if employees try to circumvent controls, perhaps by renaming files, trying to take screenshots or printing files, Endpoint Protector allows organizations to monitor and protect data at the endpoint – even when employees go offline.

While there will be an end to the Great Resignation sometime, investing in efficient security tools will help you stay ahead of sensitive data threats and prevent breaches. Securing the human layer is a critical part as employees can access the organization’s most sensitive information.

Request a demo and learn more about how Endpoint Protector ensures data security without compromising ease of use.



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