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Designer working on own device BYOD

Should you let your employees work from their own devices?

In a world that is embracing flexible and remote working patterns1, it can be easy to blur the line between the personal and professional. This is particularly evident when it comes to the number of people using their smartphones, tablets and laptops for both business and personal tasks.2  

So, what are the pros and cons of allowing employees to use their own electronics?

In 2018 45% of businesses allowed some form of working from personal devices

The advantages of BYOD

For companies that already have working-from-home schemes in place, BYOD policies can seem like a logical step. Here are some of the pros to allowing personal devices:

  • Cutting expenses: an obvious advantage of a BYOD scheme is the expense it saves you in purchasing devices for new starters. This can be particularly useful for smaller businesses and new start-ups.3
  • Employee satisfaction: save your employees the hassle of learning how to operate a different machine, while letting them take their work home.3
  • More care: your employees are likely to take better care of technology that belongs to them, reducing the risk of devices getting lost or damaged.
  • Keeping up-to-date: while it can be a huge expense for employers to keep technology up-to-date, employees should feel more motivated to upgrade their personal devices.3

54% of workers enjoy some sort of flexible working

The risks of BYOD

While BYOD policies can prove to be a huge asset for some, they also have their pitfalls. Here are a few things to think about before implementing a BYOD policy:

  • Lost or stolen devices: if a personal device is lost or stolen, your employee may not be able to replace it immediately.4
  • Lack of security: lots of unregistered devices can make cyber-security a challenge, especially if employees spend a lot of time working remotely from unsecure networks. Poor security leads to a greater risk of hacking, putting your business data at risk.4
  • Employees leaving the company: if an employee leaves the company suddenly, it can be difficult to make sure that all confidential material has been wiped from their device.4

What can you do to protect your business?

So, you’ve decided to introduce a BYOD policy in your workplace, but you’re still concerned about managing risks. Here are some simple steps you can take to help make BYOD work for you and your employees:

  • Set out clear working policies: both you and your employees deserve a level of privacy in your data. Make sure you set out clear policies about the sharing and management of personal and business information to make sure neither party feels compromised.5
  • Implement security standards: setting out simple security measures for your employees can make a huge difference to data security. Protocols like strong passwords and time-out locking might sound simple, but processes need to be put in place to ensure these are implemented.5
  • Provide anti-virus software: providing your employees with basic anti-virus software won’t be a big expense, but will make your business data more secure.5
  • Invest in cyber-liability insurance: sometimes, no matter what measures you take, hackers get through. Investing in good cyber liability cover will help you handle security breaches and minimise the damage to your business.5

32% of UK businesses identified a cyber security breach in 2019

Why not check your exposure to cyber risks with our quick questionnaire?

Contact your local Marsh Commercial broker, to find out more about how cyber-liability insurance can help protect your business.

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1 Zywave Cyber Risks and Liability Jan/Feb 2020

Adam Jeffs
Account Director of Marsh Commercial Reading Branch, 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry looking after a wide variety of clients with particular specialisms around Technology and Fintech risks.