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Bring-your-own-device policies need strong business insurance plans

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Business insurance is an essential safeguard for small companies that are adapting to the rapidly changing workplace environment.

The advent of mobile devices has presented a unique opportunity for businesses that wish to avoid the large overhead costs associated with purchasing computers and mobile phones for their offices. After all, isn't it easier for employees to do work on the devices they already own?

According to a report from Aruba Networks, a network access solutions company, the "bring-your-own-device" - or BYOD - phenomenon is alive and well throughout the global business landscape. However, the issue of conducting work on personal devices is a touchy subject for both employees and information technology departments.

BYOD is a gamble
Ben Gibson, chief marketing officer at Aruba Networks, said businesses are essentially gambling with the safety of their data by letting employees do work on personal devices without any form of additional security in place. When employees conduct work on phones and other mobile devices, the risk of losing valuable company information increases when those devices are lost or stolen.

According to Fox Business, such data breaches can be particularly costly to small businesses that may not have the resources to start from scratch once important information disappears.

Further complicating the issue is the paranoia that often arises after blurring the lines between personal life and work. Aruba Networks said the ability to use personal devices for professional purposes leads to a certain level of distrust between both business owners and their employees.

The study found more than half of American business workers surveyed said they don't believe their IT departments have taken enough steps to ensure the security of corporate data accessed on mobile devices. But despite that fear, a large percentage of workers worldwide claimed they would not bother reporting a stolen device, even if it resulted in the leak of company data. The report said much of that reluctance has to do with the fear of possible retribution from IT departments that would result in a company gaining access to personal data unrelated to work. 

Today's business environment is prone to many risks. But a sound small business insurance policy can not only offer protection from the loss of important company data, but can also present an opportunity for businesses to address internal privacy concerns. BYOD policies are a great way to reduce overhead costs. But employees and business owners must be prepared for the risks and complications associated with greater access to company data. 

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