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 - laptops, phones, tablets, etc. - the more access he or she will have to an employer's business information - this might mean trade secrets, customer data or any other sensitive information that could be used against the employer at the termination of the employee. Having safeguards to protect against such concerns, such as ways to limit 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 employee 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 stop embarrassing security breaches and make sure that employees feel safe from concerns such as identity theft.
Trends: Bring your own device (BYOD) policies are a recent trend where employees access employer networks and servers with their personal technology. This can cause problems for employers who have limited ability to secure the devices and their own information. However, it can also mean significant saving for employees who do not have to pay for electronic devices at the same extent that they would without a BYOD policy.
Author: Ashley Shaw, JD, Legal Editor
Major, recent breaches at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and UCLA Health serve as examples of why an employer should ensure to the best of its ability that it has taken adequate security measures to protect its customers' and employees' personal information.
FAQs have been added to employers in managing the emerging area of wearable technology in the workplace
California employers seeking to inform employees of the company's position on accepting personal calls and using personal electronic devices during work time should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
California employers seeking to communicate to employees that their personal use of company telephones should be very limited and excessive use may be grounds for discipline should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.
HR guidance on the importance of securing employee electronic devices.