In today’s world, more and more employees are using their own devices to access company websites and work screens. iPhones and iPads are two devices that are very popular now and being used as the all in one device for many people. They don’t realize that these devices may not be that secure and for a company, it can have very costly data breach situations. Healthcare companies are especially susceptible to HIPAA patient data loss implications. If you lose data that is federally protected, then you open yourself up to legal repercussions and lawsuits from individuals as well and potential monetary penalties.
Many companies have adopted bring your own device (byod) policies because a lot of employees would just as soon use their own equipment. After all, they already have it and they are quite used to using it in most aspects of their lives. While this may seem like a perfectly reasonable solution, it may not be wise unless companies have truly looked at the issues with their risk management team. Fines as high as $1.5 million dollarshave already been assessed in at least one situation in a teaching hospital that lost data on a mobile device that was unencrypted.
Companies are now required to perform a risk assessment and implement a data breach protection program, including for mobile devices. Those without a plan in place can be on the receiving end of some pretty hefty fines. Some important numbers that companies should be aware of are:
-84% of employees use their smart phone for everything, including work and personal use
-47% of all people don’t use a password protection on their mobile devices
-51% of companies have no ability to erase data from a lost or stolen device
-49% of employees have received no training at all on mobile device security from their company
These issues are going to need to be addressed by all companies if they truly wish to remain out of hot water and avoid these issues with HIPAA protected data loss. A BYOD policy may save money in not having to supply equipment to employees but it also may leave you open to lawsuits and big fines. Deciding which route they want to take should rely heavily on risk assessment.
Data needs to remain safe at all times and this needs to be addressed by technology companies as well. Being able to erase information from a lost device, over the air and remotely is a technology that is a must for these sorts of companies who handle sensitive materials. Companies should really explore all options in protecting and destroying data if they follow a BYOD policy.