Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022

How to make onboarding and offboarding efficient and secure

Employee onboarding and offboarding are generally viewed as important from a Human Resource (HR) management perspective. These activities get..


Employee onboarding and offboarding are generally viewed as important from a Human Resource (HR) management perspective. These activities get widespread attention from HR as these processes play an important role in performance management, employer branding, optimizing working experience, and cultivating networking opportunities.

However, both onboarding and offboarding are also significant from IT security and data security perspectives. Current or former employees can put your business at risk through their actions that may have been carried out with or without malicious intent. Businesses need to be wary of such insider threats that come from employees or former employees who were hired and went through your onboarding, training, probation, and possibly the offboarding processes.

In this blog post, we will share the importance of employee onboarding and offboarding, the impact of IT on these processes, and template checklists for your ready reference.

What Is Employee Onboarding?

Employee onboarding is a process designed to integrate new employees into the organization. The goal of this process is to help the new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors that enable them to become effective and productive members of the organization. It aims at integrating the new employee not just into the operations but also the culture so that they are able to adapt to the social and performance aspects of their new jobs quickly and effectively.


Why Is Employee Onboarding Important?

Employee onboarding is of strategic significance because the experiences of a new employee in the first few months are crucial in ensuring high engagement and retention. A structured and comprehensive onboarding process helps not only in talent retention but also in the new employees reaching their full potential faster. More importantly, the onboarding process nudges them towards adopting the shared values that guide behaviors with respect to cybersecurity, helping create a security-conscious culture.

What Is Employee Offboarding?

Employee offboarding is the process of separation following the resignation, termination, or retirement of an employee. The process usually includes knowledge transfer, exit interview, and return of company assets. An offboarding process is necessary to ensure that there are no loose ends when an employee leaves and the job responsibilities are seamlessly transitioned. From a security perspective, a formal offboarding process is necessary for securing the organization’s IT resources and preventing unauthorized access.

Why is Employee Offboarding Important?

When an employee leaves, it can put the organization at risk of theft of data or confidential information, or sabotage of computer systems and resources. Such insider threats whether accidental or perpetrated with malicious intent can cause a lot of harm to the organization as well as lead to regulatory compliance challenges. Such threats become very high in case of involuntary termination of disgruntled employees.

A formal employee offboarding process mitigates such risks that arise when employees leave. A robust offboarding process ensures that the security of the company assets by preventing unauthorized access. In the worst case, such processes also prevent disgruntled employees from sabotaging critical resources or network access.


How Does IT Make a Difference in Employee Onboarding And Offboarding?

With the growing adoption of remote work, the nature of onboarding and offboarding have changed. Companies are adopting digital onboarding and offboarding processes with new employees having little to no in-person interactions. Most of such new employees meet their managers and team members only over Google Meet or Zoom.

While such process changes are necessary, they pose new challenges to an organization’s recruitment, talent management, and more importantly security. As we mentioned earlier, the onboarding process is key to employee engagement and retention, so how can you ensure the success of your new hires? Integrating them into the team by introducing them to everyone and making their first days special is important, but they will need a lot more than that to be able to perform their job well.

What they need to be productive employees is access to the tools and resources necessary for their jobs. And, effective IT support is instrumental in facilitating access to all the necessary tools and resources, especially when the onboarding process is completely remote.

Before the onboarding process even begins, you need to complete the following IT tasks:

  • Procuring and assigning appropriate devices such as laptops or desktops,

  • Configuring the device and installing the necessary software and applications,

  • Creating company email and application accounts, and

  • Sharing information on cybersecurity and password policies.

And during onboarding, they will invariably need help troubleshooting account access issues. Without efficient IT support, a seamless employee onboarding process is virtually impossible.


Checklist for Employee Onboarding

Here’s a simple IT checklist for new employee onboarding for your reference:

  • Order computer or laptop, if not already available. If using an old device, make sure to wipe the hard drive.

  • If the new employee is going to a physical office, get a seating location.

  • Create employee ID and ID card

  • Provide access to the building and relevant office rooms

  • Create a company email account

  • Schedule onboarding and training program.

  • Share the IT Policy, Cybersecurity Policies, and Company Handbook.

  • Share guides and how-to documents for apps and programs required for their job.

  • Set up accounts for applications:

    • Messaging apps such as Slack or Microsoft Teams

    • Password Managers such as 1password or LastPass

    • Productivity apps such as Trello or Asana

    • VPN

  • Create access to files and shared folders in Google Drive or Office 365

  • Set-Up the provisioned or reprovisioned devices.

  • Install MDM (Mobile Device Management) and RMM (Remote Management & Monitoring) tools such as Kandji, Jamf, ScreenConnect, etc.

  • Using an Identity And Access Management (IAM) system, create a digital identity authorizing access to approved enterprise resources.

  • Add network printers and the “Scan to e-mail” setting on multi-function printers.

  • For remote employees, ship the device and accessories such as a mouse, keyboard, headphones, etc.VPN


Checklist for Employee Offboarding

Here’s a simple IT checklist for offboarding employees securely: 

  • Disable the account in Active Directory either immediately or after a defined period of time as per the company policy. 

  • Disable the email login and set up email forwarding to their manager.

  • Delete the VPN and Remote Desktop access.

  • Delete access to remote web apps such as Office 365, etc.

  • Delete access to voicemail and forward phone and voicemail to their manager.

  • Disable access to business and SaaS applications.

  • Change all shared account passwords that the departing employee knows.

  • Move the departing employee’s shared data and email archive to the manager’s account.

  • Reset the “Scan to e-mail” setting on multi-function printers.

  • Remove the employee from email group lists, distribution lists, internal phone lists, and the website.

  • Connect to the employee’s workstation and shut it down.

  • Retrieve all company-owned assets such as laptops, phones, tablets, etc., and update the IT inventory.

  • Change any access codes to secured rooms, if the departing employee knows them.

  • Inform everyone that the user is no longer employed with the company.

Challenges In Employee Onboarding And Offboarding

Given the large number of platforms and applications being used in most organizations, the chances of lapses and mistakes occurring during onboarding and offboarding are high. It is very tedious to manually check privileges and access to IT resources in an increasingly heterogeneous environment consisting of a variety of applications, technologies, and systems. It invariably leads to inconsistencies and chances for human error.


Effective onboarding requires a solution that can ensure appropriate access to IT resources in a consistent and scalable manner. The ability of your IT team to manage privilege and access controls is a must-have if your organization wants to scale without compromising security. To succeed in onboarding new employees in a secure, efficient, and scalable manner you need the help of automation and security systems such as IAM.

IAM solutions take most of the headaches away from your onboarding process. They effectively handle issues such as the digital identity of the users, roles, permissions, privileges assigned to those identities, and the protection of those identities. This makes it a whole lot easier to enroll new employees in the applications and to provide access to company resources consistently, quickly, and securely.


New employees joining an organization and old employees leaving is a natural part of the employment journey. Although the hiring and departures may have different circumstances, it is necessary to have a well-defined, consistent, and scalable process in place so that things go smoothly for everyone involved.

Having a well-defined process for onboarding ensures that new hires are seamlessly integrated and become productive members of the organization. Similarly, a robust offboarding process is necessary to ensure that departing employees pose no security threat to the organization and have no access to the IT systems and resources. These two sets of processes for the beginning and end of the employment lifecycle help ensure productivity and engagement while maintaining organizational security.

Is your employee onboarding process scalable? Is your offboarding process secure? We can help you by implementing efficient, scalable, secure, and hassle-free onboarding and offboarding processes. If you need help with onboarding and/or offboarding, reach out to us by clicking the button below.

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By: Hari Subedi
Title: How To Make Onboarding And Offboarding Effective And Secure
Sourced From:
Published Date: Sun, 08 Aug 2021 08:00:00 +0000

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