How to Avoid Making the Great Resignation the Next Great Cyberattack

Adrian Fabre

December 21, 2021

Month after month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to announce record numbers of workers quitting their jobs. In fact, 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September 2021 alone, the highest since data collection began in December 2000.

While HR teams have been laser-focused on retention strategies and scrambling to offboard employees (and onboard new ones), CIOs and IT teams also need a plan to address The Great Resignation and combat the increased cybersecurity risks brought about by a surge in offboarding, including:

  • Confidential information sharing from ex-employees who still have access
  • Breaches when organizations don’t correctly revoke access
  • Idle passwords that hackers can easily access

If a disgruntled former employee retains access to various company resources like identities, data, networks, edge devices, physical access, and processes, all it takes is one malicious login to obtain and breach confidential information. Even if an employee leaves on excellent terms, failing to revoke access to company systems and disused and idle passwords leave your organization vulnerable. 

Most organizations don’t have the proper insights into their security problems’ origins. During a normal offboarding, moderate risk for breaches and data incursions exists. But in the particularly tumultuous period of quits during The Great Resignation, however, that risk is multiplied. Legacy processes simply cannot keep up, leaving your organization open to exploitation. New automated identity access management (IAM) and privileged access management (PAM) solutions will proactively combat those threats.

 

Automate Your Defense

Offboarding can already be costly and time-consuming, and with millions leaving their jobs, the burden of offboarding employees is at an all-time high. It’s a manual process subject to human error and missteps that can leave accounts open, unused, and vulnerable – especially when numerous employees leave in a short timeframe, and the workload to offboard them falls on just a few people. With help from IT, your organization can implement automated solutions to ease the offboarding process and secure your domain.

Access management solutions such as Hitachi ID Bravura Identity (including identity governance administration) and Hitachi ID Bravura Privilege automate the offboarding process to create a quicker and more reliable transition. These applications establish automatic access deactivation and control processes that ensure former employees lose all system access and no accounts are left idle. Not only does automated access management amplify your security, but it also drastically decreases the time support teams need to spend manually removing every former employee from their system.  This implementation frees up time to spend improving internal processes to boost employee satisfaction and retention rates.

 

Start With Access Management to Meet Your Zero Trust Goals

Identity and access management is important when offboarding lots of people — but it’s really essential all the time. That’s because identity access management and privileged access management solutions maintain security structures around the clock by granting appropriate access to specific users and managing elevated accounts that have permission to high-level corporate resources. 

Identity access management and privileged access management solutions build the infrastructure needed to meet Zero Trust standards – a security model that does not trust any identities or devices by default. In offboarding instances, identity access management and privileged access management work together to ensure former employees don’t have access to company systems and accounts. For example, the average cost of a breach was $5.04 million for organizations without Zero Trust deployed. Yet, in the mature stage of a Zero Trust deployment, the average cost was $3.28 million, a $1.76 million difference, according IBM’s Cost of Data Breach Report 2021. 

Zero Trust Architecture within your organization will protect you whether the job market is volatile or calm. Plus, Zero Trust can efficiently adapt to the ever-changing cyber threats that businesses face more than traditional security methods. 

If The Great Resignation has challenged your organization and you're looking to build a Zero Trust Security Model, ensure your organization's credentials are always in the right hands and ease the stress of offboarding by; downloading our Zero Trust and Identity Access Management eBook.

 

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