‘Ghost accounts’ is a term often used within the IT industry to describe accounts that still exist but are no longer used. Let’s say you set up each of your employees with an account and password for your network. When a team member decides to move on and you don’t delete the account after their departure, it becomes a ghost account.
These might not seem like a problem, and, in the vast majority of cases, they are not. That said, a ghost account can compromise everything from productivity to security. Here are just a few reasons why you should delete them.
Imagine your network is a house. You give out keys to each new employee, but you don’t take them away when those employees leave. It’s pretty obvious that you’re compromising your own security by doing so because people now unrelated to your business could gain entry. The same is true with ghost accounts.
You really don’t want unauthorised people accessing your network, even if they were former employees. Even if they don’t actually end up doing anything, such access points could violate compliance guidelines; after all, people in your company will be able to view some of the data you’re holding. At worst, former employees may even sell their login information, and the fallout from such an action can seriously damage your business.
Pushes Up Costs
Many platforms only allow you to have so many accounts connected, with more money charged for extra ones. Those are costs that you’re going to want to avoid since they are completely unnecessary.
It’s incredible just how quickly businesses can stack up ghost accounts. It isn’t just full-time employees that create them – even external contractors will sometimes get their own login information. Numerous ghost accounts can cause disruption. People may try to send messages to accounts that are no longer active, and you’ll be less able to determine what everyone is doing. If an account is no longer useful, it has the potential to become disruptive, especially if you have quite a high turnover of staff.