Data theft a big issue in layoffs

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Layoffs used to be a rather cut-and-dried affair.

Banks would round-up employees, maybe give them some time to gather up their personal belongings, and then escort them out. Or they might call a meeting to inform employees that they are being let go, and while they are meeting, have their belongings packed up for them and moved outside of the building.

It all seems brutal, but from management's point of view, such actions are the safer route. You don't want to risk an incident. In the modern era of mobile communications and teleworking, the stakes have been raised.

Reuters notes that "with hundreds of bankers sometimes leaving on the same day in big redundancy rounds, the huge IT operations take meticulous planning, sometimes with unnerving consequences for staff…But weeks of trawling through old emails and planning software lockdowns now precede and follow the job cuts that are happening in thousands, adding a new layer of indignity to the process."

One expert was quoted saying, "It used to be that you would take away any access to the building and maybe prevent someone from lifting their Rolodex. Now there is extensive compliance, with for example reviews of the last six months of email activity, for signs of a large amount of material being sent to personal accounts."

There's a lot on the line, in light of the numerous cases of data theft that have cropped up recently. They sometimes involve employees who are leaving their firm. Companies have no choice but to instantly block access of laid-off employees to the network and take other related steps. In some cases, they have called in lawyers to ask fired staff to destroy data that had already been downloaded. It's pretty easy to see why the costs of layoffs have soared so dramatically over the years.

For more:
- here's the article

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