Overview: Part of a good risk management plan is electronic device security. This is the technology age, and no matter what the business, from small store to a large multi-national corporation, technology is being utilized. With the growth in technology, though, comes an increase in security risks that employers must guard against. When securing electronic devices, employers should protect against employee abuse and protect employees from thieves.
The more technology an employee is given by an employer - laptops, phones, tablets, etc. - the more access he or she will have to the employer's business information, such as trade secrets, customer data or any other sensitive information that could be used against the employer. Having safeguards to protect against inappropriate disclosure or inadvertent loss, such as limiting data access or creating enforceable employee contracts protecting the information, will help prevent future trouble.
Outside of the concerns about employer information, HR also needs to be concerned with employees' personal information. Securing electronic systems that store personal information about employees or teaching employees how to secure their own information on employer-issued devices will help prevent embarrassing security breaches and make sure that employees feel safe from concerns such as identity theft.
Trends: Employers with bring your own device (BYOD) policies allow employees to access employer networks and servers with their personal electronic devices. This can cause problems for employers that have limited ability to secure the devices and their own information. However, it can also mean significant saving for employers, since they do not have to pay for electronic devices to the same extent that they would without a BYOD policy.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to include immunity notice under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, effective May 11, 2016.
Amendments to the Illinois Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) broaden existing categories of protected information and also expand notice requirements in the event of a security breach.
Updated to reflect the Defend Trade Secrets Act, effective May 11, 2016.
This resource is under review in light of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, effective May 11, 2016.
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HR guidance on the importance of securing employee electronic devices.