A business had a substantial number of online assets, including internet banking accounts, accounting software and cloud storage.  These were all accessed by a single account user who knew the relevant passwords and login details.  That key person left the business abruptly, taking all that information with them. 

The business was eager to close a major deal for which they needed the financial and business information stored online. Unfortunately because the business could not get access to any of its online assets it missed out on closing the deal.

Running a modern business involves creating and using a wide range of online assets from company websites, blogs and social media, through to email accounts, document storage and customer management systems, not to mention the multitude of available cloud storage options.

In many cases online assets will be registered to a single account user who has accepted the service provider’s terms of use.  But is your business prepared for what happens if that user ceases to be part of the business through departure, significant illness, or death?

Imagine the scenario where an employee who was responsible for an online business profile through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook resigns, and begins posting unsavoury messages to these various social media forums.  Without access to the relevant social media accounts, the business may be unable to remove the offending messages. 

Businesses should have robust policies in place to set out how employees are to use online assets.  This should include rules about the permitted number of account users, how passwords and login information are to be stored, and strict protocols in the event of the departure of a key employee.