With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic that has swept across the globe, both small, medium and large businesses have been forced to make the move to remote working. The effect of this is that employees will either be using their own devices, such as computers and mobile devices, or they will be utilising company-issued equipment. The use of this equipment, in many cases, will enable them to access the company’s network remotely and transfer data back and forth through their own personal networks at home. The transfer of this data raises certain security risks from a technology standpoint.
There is a growing trend in business generally, that employees prefer if they can use their personal devices for business, arguing that it makes their lives easier, enabling them to easily manage both their personal and business lives, particularly when that line is blurred.
Any company that allows the use of personal devices must ensure that there is a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) policy or, better yet, agreement in place with the employee. An agreement of this nature should include reference to various issues including, but not limited to, the employee’s (and the company’s) rights in respect of the access to data and information contained on the personal device, responsibility of technical support in relation to the device, security provisions as well as provisions relating to what happens to the device when it is sold or when that employee’s employment is terminated.
In addition to having a BYOD agreement in place with a respective employee, it is important to educate your staff in order to mitigate any security risks – this would involve providing basic security training to those staff members utilising their own device and/or working remotely.
In today’s world, there is always a possibility of a security breach resulting in a company’s confidential information being compromised and thus it is hugely important for employers to put in place the necessary structures to limit the possible damage that such a breach may cause.