Brokerage Ops Technosavvy the June 2014 issue

Q&A with Shawn Ram

Shawn Ram, National Technology Practice Leader, Aon Risk Solutions
By Michael Fitzpatrick
Are there risks that businesses are overlooking in the bring-your-own-device trend?
Absolutely. There is some degree of unawareness of what the risks are—not only of bringing your mobile device but even bringing your own laptop. For corporations, the risks are those of security and productivity.

The primary concern is always security. How do we prevent personally identifiable information or protected health information from being compromised? In addition, they’re not always contemplating the risk associated with a lost device. Because mobile devices have become more and more a part of our work productivity and work psyche, because personal- and work-related items are converging, the loss of a mobile device causes dramatic implications from a productivity standpoint.

It’s an important decision for companies to contemplate the requirement to purchase insurance so that in the event the device gets lost or stolen you have insurance—you can obtain another phone and get up and running. They’re managing the productivity end of this rather than having an employee pay $500 to $700 for a new phone.

How should employees manage their own risk?

These are just general mobile device security best practices. Certain things like leveraging the cloud so that the information you have on your device is appropriately backed up. In the event something happens to your device, you’re not wedded to the device as much as you are to the content, which is stored in multiple places.

Second, being hypersensitive to the impact that your personal actions on a mobile device could have on a corporation is important. When you deal in the mobile world, going to a bad site, or even your personal email or social media, could impact the device and could impact corporate infrastructure that’s found on the device.

For personal privacy reasons you have to understand that corporations have the ability to access mobile content and the things you do on the phone. Although there is software to overcome this, the idea of separating your work life from your personal life in some BYOD scenarios can be extremely difficult to do. From personal text messaging to evaluating other job offers—some of the things that we often use our mobile phones to do could have some implications if you are in a BYOD scenario.

Michael Fitzpatrick

Technology Editor

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