After working from home for a year, employees across the UK are accustomed to traveling to the office again. Morning commute is no longer a short trip from the bedroom to the kitchen table, home office, or garden shed. We return to the office a couple of days a week and many of us commute by public transport again.
Transport for London The (TFL) recently reported a significant increase in weekly service passengers during peak hours, up to 17% by train and up to 39% by bus. Congested buses, crowded trains, and restrictions on working from home can increase the risk of putting work properties such as laptops and memory sticks under your seats or sitting at train stations.
Phil Parkinson, Head of Commercial Code at Blacks Solicitors, has analyzed everything an employer needs to know if an employee loses work property while commuting.
Documents and communications stored in business properties such as laptops may contain sensitive information related to clients, patients, or employees, but if you lose your access card or key fob, you will be taken to the facility. There is a risk of unauthorized access.
If assets are left unconsidered, they run the risk of serious data breaches and increase the likelihood that unauthorized persons will have access to your organization’s sensitive information. Data breaches can lead to legal claims and reputational damage, but a variety of proven methods can mitigate risk and allow employees to work remotely and securely.
As a minimum security measure, hardware such as laptops and removable media such as memory sticks should be properly encrypted to minimize the risk level of misplacement. This prevents unauthorized individuals who have access to lost business assets from accessing sensitive information. However, some organizations recommend that you consider cyber insurance for even greater protection.
Robust cybersecurity is essential for any organization to enable its employees to access and work with sensitive data securely and without risk. But as the era of large-scale remote work and hybrid offices is more widespread than ever, security measures need to consider business assets stored offsite, even if the secure office is unreliable. I have.
Migrating to cloud-based systems or using VPNs is a common way for organizations to provide more secure offsite system access. Please note that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) publishes insightful guidance on what organizations should consider. It specifically investigates issues related to the rapid adoption of remote working systems.
Failure to establish proper security for an organization not only imposes heavy fines from the ICO, but also risks exposing responsible persons to direct claims from data subjects whose personal data has been leaked, damaging their reputation.
Legal implications for employees
Employees may be subject to both criminal and civil proceedings in some circumstances, as both individuals and organizations are liable under data protection laws. Therefore, it is imperative that the employer ensure that the employee conducts relevant training both for new beginners and thereafter each year and has logs to prove this.
Employers should establish appropriate policies to cover business asset loss or data breach scenarios and streamline the breach reporting procedure cascaded to all employees. The employment contract should also include appropriate disciplinary action so that the employer can take appropriate action in the event of loss of labor property.
While working in remote and hybrid offices has multiple benefits, significant growth during a pandemic has allowed organizations to lose business properties and improper data security by employees logging in at home. You are exposed to increased security risks due to one of the practices. Reduce risk to your organization and worst-case scenarios by ensuring that your hardware is properly encrypted, providing appropriate and up-to-date safety training to your employees, and establishing appropriate cybersecurity measures. You can prepare your employer as much as possible in preparation for it.
If you would like to talk to someone about data protection, please visit https://www.lawblacks.com/business/commercial-law/.
Lost work property: everything you need to know
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