While many organizations have vastly different operating policies and goals, there is at least one goal that every organization should strive for: Protecting their network. While it's the role of your IT provider to properly setup devices and systems to be resistant to breaches, improper communication and protocols outside of your IT departmen's reach are far too common the cause of weakness within the network. Over the last month several of our articles have covered topics that directly associate the end users in your organization and how they can learn to be better at spotting attacks that target them.
Many users, especially with the right training, will be able to recognize at least a few different areas where attacks can occur. Most users; however, may not be able to recognize that inactive accounts can be an open door to your network or various services that your company uses. These are accounts that exist, but they may not be in use for lengthy periods of time. Sometimes these accounts don't have a user that exists within the organization anymore (someone that left or may have been let go). These accounts can create unseen holes that could allow bad actors (either external attackers or possibly disgruntled ex-employees) a back door into important systems. Depending on what services these accounts are associated with, this may allow them free-reign to access important data.
Luckily, there is a simple solution to prevent this type of intrusion: Disable or remove the accounts in question. Most of the time these accounts are remnants of an employee in Active Directory or Office 365. Many services allow you to disable login to accounts, thus keeping any important data and limiting the possibility of intrusion. Other systems may require you to completely remove the account. All of this can be best accomplished with good communication between you and your IT department/ provider. When offboarding a user, contact the necessary technicians/ administrators to have them remove access to the accounts and systems of that user.
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