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Protecting Your SaaS Data When Employees Leave

Rueben Rodriguez, Head of Product Marketing
November 29, 2023
4 min read

Everyone can agree, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms have revolutionized the way businesses operate, providing them with scalable and flexible solutions that can be spun up quickly to solve business needs while fostering collaboration. However, with the rise of SaaS applications, new challenges have arisen, particularly with respect to data security and who is ultimately responsible for the data traversing within them.  A key challenge around SaaS data security is the risk of data loss when an employee leaves the organization.

This is because when an employee leaves an organization, they may take sensitive data with them or cause damage to company data either intentionally or unintentionally. In fact per Osterman Research 69% of the organizations surveyed have suffered a loss of data or knowledge as a result of an employee departure.  This can lead to legal and regulatory issues, loss of intellectual property, and reputational damage.

Here are some of the sensitive SaaS data risks associated with leaving employees and how you can look to mitigate them:

  1. Unauthorized access to sensitive SaaS data – when an employee leaves they may still have access to sensitive data if their account credentials are not disabled properly. This can result in unauthorized access to sensitive data; to prevent this, it is essential to revoke access to all SaaS applications and data upon an employee’s departure – bonus is to have automation in place to address and also monitor *before* the employee leaves.
  2. Data loss – employees who leave an organization may intentionally or unintentionally delete or damage data before they leave which can result in significant data loss and damage to the organization especially when customer data or PII data is exposed. To mitigate this risk, it is important to be able to monitor an employee before they leave and have data backups on your most sensitive data.  
  3. Misuse of data – leaving employees may use the company’s sensitive data for personal gain or sell it to competitors. This can lead to legal and reputational consequences for the organization. To prevent this, it is important to have active policies and mitigating capabilities in place that prohibit data misuse and/or are able to monitor user activities.
  4. Lack of compliance – leaving employees can also create compliance headaches, as they may have access to sensitive data that is regulated by government agencies. This can result in non-compliance with regulations and has both legal and reputational consequences. To mitigate this risk, it is essential to ensure that all employees comply with regulations, and that access to sensitive data is strictly controlled with reporting built in.

Whether an employee is leaving, either on their own accord or due to restructuring, they can pose a significant risk to your organization based upon the SaaS data they have access to. To mitigate these risks, organizations must ensure they have clear data policies in place and put their policies into action with the correct processes and data security tools in order to mitigate risk. By taking proactive steps and leveraging SaaS data analytics with automation, organizations can prevent data loss, comply with regulations, and safeguard their sensitive data.

To learn how Reco can help you identify and protect your sensitive SaaS data from leaving employees, get your DEMO and Free Trial Here:

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