Small Businesses Face Risks When Deploying BYOD Policies

As smartphones and tablets increase in popularity, many employees have begun to use them for work purposes.

Small business owners that promote the bring your own device trend should take a long, hard look at their small business insurance portfolios to ensure they have protections in place against the risks associated with smartphones and tablets being used for work purposes.

Risk No. 1 – Downloading third-party apps
With personal devices being used for work purposes, there is a chance that downloaded third-party applications could infect the phone or tablet, potentially leading to compromised company information. For this reason, employees downloading apps on their devices need to be extremely careful, as they could unknowingly install mobile malware on their devices. Should this lead to clients incurring damages, a company could face a major lawsuit.

Risk No. 2 – Lost or stolen devices
When employees access company networks on their personal mobile devices, the risk of lost devices should concern businesses. If a smartphone or tablet is ever lost or stolen, the wrong people could get onto the network and get a hold of sensitive information. There are ways to prevent this, though as businesses can require strong passwords be put on these devices, as well as have the option available to wipe a device clean if it is misplaced.

Risk No. 3 – Public Wi-Fi
Whether an employee is in an airport or at the mall, accessing public Wi-Fi could put company information at risk. When on these networks, sensitive information is being exposed to cyber criminals. With that said, companies should make sure that employees never access public Wi-Fi on their devices if they are also used for work purposes. At home, it should be encouraged that wireless networks are password protected, as cyber thieves can target employees at home as well.

Risk No. 4 – Disgruntled employees
With company sponsored devices, employees are required to turn them in after they are fired, laid off or leave for a different job. However, BYOD doesn’t offer this safety net, as companies can’t take back personal mobile devices. For this reason, disgruntled employees create risk for businesses, as they could leak sensitive company information. One way to prevent this from happening is having the option of wiping a device clean of company information after an employee leaves for good.