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Secure Company Data with Deprovisioning


Because 40% of ex-employees admit to sharing former workplace login credentials, organizations must develop strategies to avoid potential cyber threats from departing staff. Implementing proper deprovisioning measures helps prevent security breaches from ex-employees and mitigates other possible risks. 

In today’s digital landscape, where data breaches and cyber threats loom large, organizations must diligently implement and maintain robust security measures. Most companies focus significant resources on preventing unauthorized access from hackers but often overlook the crucial deprovisioning of users who should no longer have access to company data. Deprovisioning is the digital equivalent of getting an apartment renter to return the keys at the end of their lease but in the data access realm.

Most organizations recognize the inherent value of their data, which often serves as the lifeblood of their operations. While such data tends to be internally invaluable, it can also benefit competitors, making it a potential target for exploitation by former employees who no longer have a vested interest in protecting company data.

A survey conducted by Beyond Identity determined that approximately 25% of employees retained access to their former workplace accounts and emails. Perhaps more concerning, over 41% acknowledged sharing their previous workplace login credentials. As companies devise strategies to fortify their systems against external hackers, what measures are they implementing to mitigate the risks posed by former employees?

Understanding Deprovisioning

Organizations generally recognize the importance of integrating adequate identity and access management (IAM) solutions to safeguard their data. However, many still do not realize that deprovisioning is critical for data security. Deprovisioning, or user offboarding, refers to the process of revoking access to company resources, systems, and data when an employee or user leaves the organization. This could be due to termination, resignation, job change, interoffice transfer, or any other reason that negates the former employee’s need for access rights.

Companies can deprovision manually or automatically. Traditionally, the manual process involves IT administrators revoking individual access privileges for departing employees. However, this method is time-consuming and prone to human error, which is a primary cause of insider data breaches, according to a survey conducted in 2021.

When a company fails to conduct effective deprovisioning, it can leave it open to several critical risks:

  • Data Breaches: Failure to promptly revoke access credentials increases the likelihood of data breaches, which can potentially result in financial losses, reputational damage, and legal ramifications.
  • Compliance Violations: Many industries are subject to stringent regulatory data protection and access control requirements such as GDPR, HIPAA, and LGPD. Inadequate deprovisioning practices can result in non-compliance, which can subject a company to potentially costly penalties and sanctions.
  • Reputational Damage: A data breach or compliance violation due to poor deprovisioning negatively impacts a company’s reputation. This can severely undermine  customer and stakeholder trust, impacting long-term business prospects.
  • Operational Disruption: Lingering access credentials that should be defunct can disrupt day-to-day operations, leading to productivity losses and operational inefficiencies. Moreover, manual deprovisioning processes consume valuable IT resources, diverting attention from strategic initiatives.

How to Avoid Deprovisioning Risks?

Leveraging automated tools and processes streamlines the deprovisioning process, instantly revoking employee access across multiple systems and applications and reducing the margin for error.

Within this automated environment, a company within 2Future’s portfolio stands out for its commitment to pioneering solutions that elevate data security. QriarLabs recently launched QSCIM, which revolutionizes the provisioning and deprovisioning of user identities and their associated data across multiple sources and destinations. This new approach minimizes error-prone manual processes while improving organizational productivity and fraud prevention efforts.

The System for Cross-Domain Identity Management (SCIM) is a standard for automating user provisioning and deprovisioning in identity management systems. It simplifies and streamlines identity management processes while reducing the risk of human error. By automating these tasks, SCIM saves organizations time and resources otherwise spent on manual identity management. Built on a microservices architecture, QSCIM allows for the integration of identities in small pieces tailored to specific connectors like SAP, Oracle, IBM, Salesforce, etc., all deployed in a containerized manner, maximizing flexibility and efficiency.

Some additional recommendations to enhance user provisioning and deprovisioning procedures include:

  • Establish clear policies that maximize cybersecurity, with a schedule to periodically review and update them as warranted.
  • Employ role-based access controls to simplify operations and mitigate security threats.
  • Educate users on cybersecurity best practices and provide tips to empower them to uphold system security.
  • Use security tools seamlessly by integrating them with your current access controls, which can also help alleviate additional workload burdens.

Companies can fortify their data security defenses and mitigate potential threats by implementing automated deprovisioning solutions like QSCIM and adhering to best practices. Such measures demonstrate a commitment to proactive risk management and foster resilience against evolving threats, positioning the organization for longer-term success in the digital landscape.



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