User Management: Celebrate the leavers, and disable their account quickly!
We’ve learned over time that in business, it’s great to celebrate those who are leaving, and wish them well on their journey, just as much as celebrating those who join. Leaving drinks or a gathering is as important as partying for those who join.
In technology management, it’s often good to have a periodic review, a bit of a tidy up, maybe assess your user accounts.
Have you got a bunch of user accounts in there that have left, that maybe you still have licences for? In small business, it's very common not to have all the processes nailed down. One process that is really important, and it goes hand in hand with new starters joiners, is leavers. (Hint: it’s a cornerstone of cyber security).
There are several impacts: back in the old days of office-based servers, the chances were it didn't cost you very much to leave a leaver on the system (as you likely didn't get charged for a mailbox) and there probably wasn't remote access to speak of.
But the slick management of users (identity and access control) is much more than that.
Very often when we work with clients and they come on board with us, we find that there is a legacy, a kind of hangover, of the leavers’ accounts not being tidied up.
Nowadays, you may be incurring additional licences for your email platform. There may be other subscriptions too, if you're using collaboration or file sharing or other cloud business tools. Think, Adobe, Slack, Zoom, Dropbox, etc.
So, on one hand, there's the cost saving, but more importantly from a cybersecurity and therefore business and risk perspective, any accounts that are left open, any active accounts that still have access, continue to allow access to your systems and data. That's a real area of concern - an attack vector - a way into your IT environment that bad actors are on the lookout for.
Don't leave yourself vulnerable. Do the housekeeping, keep careful track of new users and leavers. We recommend you have a (simple) written process (which we can help you with - we're very big on process for small business) and involve IT and that process to make sure there's a nice comprehensive list because in practice, there's tasks for IT to perform, and there's tasks that you'll do, too.
That's the tip for today - a really important one that too often gets overlooked: Remember the leavers as well as the joiners.