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Prevent Password Theft From Ex-Employees

Prevent Password Theft From Ex-Employees

May 25, 20215 min read


Password theft remains a constant concern among organizations in the digital world. External malicious actors have stolen passwords through sophisticated cyber attacks that involve social engineering and phishing tactics. However, at times, the threat of cyber theft may stem from within an organization - dissatisfied former employees with malicious intentions. 

The consequences of data breaches from ex-employees can be devastating to the organization. Some examples include the loss of corporate secrets, service disruptions, and compromised customer data. To avoid insider threats, organizations should implement reliable password management software and safety procedures to safeguard their networks. 

TeamPassword’s advanced password management features, such as multi-factor authentication, and random password generation, can help teams ward off an internal password theft attack. Sign up for a trial to protect your precious company assets. 

1) Systematic Password Handovers 

The first and most direct step involves obtaining all account passwords from employees before they leave the company. Additionally, organizations should change the passwords or reset them before entrusting accounts to the next position holder. By doing so, organizations can reduce the risks of former employees remotely accessing workplace accounts. 

Additionally, employers should revoke all access privileges from ex-employees immediately. For greater assurance, organizations should implement a real-time monitoring system that tracks the permissions granted to each user within each component of the organizational network. 

An advanced monitor system enables administrators to maintain surveillance over user interactions and identify unusual behaviour, suggesting a sign of a data breach. These include a spike in user activity, large file transfers, and the access of rarely accessed documents. 

2) Consider Professional Shredding Services

In some cases, organizations may consider hiring the services of a professional digital shredder. Like conventional office shredders on paper documents, professional digital shredders render digital information unreadable and prevent the risks of unauthorized access. The method works best for obsolete documents that may contain highly confidential information - such as workplace passwords. 

3) Password Protection Training 

Regular password protection training can help current and future employees safeguard their credentials, especially in unprotected online conversations with former colleagues. Employees will also learn the importance of setting up complex passwords and avoiding easily hacked combinations (i.e., repeated letters or birthdates). 

Through specialized training, employees will also learn how to spot the signs of password theft and avoid sharing confidential information in personal communication apps and other high-risk peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications. 

4) Deploy Encryption

Encryption provides confidential information with an additional layer of protection. By encrypting communication channels and account logins, organizations prevent former employees from accessing and using unauthorized information without the required key. 

TeamPassword’s password manager offers built-in encryption that protects valuable credentials from unauthorized parties. Begin with a trial to start benefitting from improved password protection. 

5) Remove Unused Accounts

Resourceful ex-employees may resort to locating and accessing idle/inactive organizational accounts as a backdoor into the network. As such, employers should perform regular audits to detect and deactivate unused accounts that may potentially serve as a medium for stealing passwords.

Typically, organizations should consider enforcing a security protocol that eliminates accounts that have been inactive for more than three months. 

6) Enforce Principle of Least Privilege 

The principle of least privilege (POLP) is an information security policy that restricts employee accounts to the minimum permissions required to perform their routine tasks and roles. 

While POLP does not prevent data theft, it reduces the impact of password theft and compromised accounts. Organizations should consider enforcing POLP in addition to password protection initiatives to optimize their network security. 

7) Implement Anti-theft Surveillance 

Organizations should apply constant surveillance at workstations to prevent opportunistic physical access and theft of hard drives, laptops, and other portable devices. BYOD practices may lead to increased vulnerabilities, with employees storing passwords on personal devices. 

Therefore, employees should provide constant reminders on the importance of password protection beyond the workplace. Alternatively, employers may consider adopting employee policies that ban the storage of corporate passwords in personal devices (because of limited surveillance and higher risks of a compromise). 

8) Adopt Strict Data Policies

A clear and systematic series of employee policies will help deter password theft in the long term. For example, companies may exclude employees from administrator roles/groups containing a wide range of permissions that have devastating consequences if compromised. Data classification and retention policies identify all data generated within an organizational system and how long it stays. 

Well-defined data policies enable more reliable tracking and management of data end-points and user access to minimize the risks of password theft. 

9) Apply a Trusted Password Manager 

TeamPassword’s reliable password manager application enables teams to conveniently store and access their respective passwords while keeping them encrypted and secure. The advanced program works from desktops, laptops, and other mobile devices. The software syncs in real-time, providing unmatched accountability by logging the activities of each user. 

Teams may look forward to sharing their passwords with peace of mind with TeamPassword’s intuitive solution. With a few simple clicks, organizations can provide users with access or remove them from a group. Whether it is a collaboration within the departments and internal teams or with external coordinators, TeamPassword makes password management safe and effortless. 

With TeamPassword, you can reduce the risks of internal threats and. Start a free trial today to optimize your organization’s password management practices. 

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