Retailers’ Offboarding Procedures Leave Potential Risks

IT teams need to consider unforeseen threats to avoid violating privacy regulations and supplier contracts.

Now that the holiday season is over and retailers are letting their temporary workers go, IT and cybersecurity teams need to work with legal and human resources staffers to ensure that workers are offboarded properly. Failure to do so could leave retailers’ intellectual property and consumers’ personal information vulnerable to bad actors, sources say.

In a new survey from Beyond Identity, 53% of employee respondents admitted using their access to harm their former employers, and 74% of business leaders reported suffering damages from former employees exploiting their digital access. One of the greatest cybersecurity risks that retailers face is temporary workers leaving the company with intellectual property or consumers’ personally identifiable information, says Brian Wrozek, a CISO at Optiv.

“For the retailer, you have the issues of privacy regulations. They may be forced to disclose that client information is out there [and] is no longer being protected,” Wrozek says. “You also have potential contractual liabilities, depending on the information that may be on those USB drives. They may have contracts with their suppliers or their partners, and they may be in breach of those contracts as well.”

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