For Business

Your Bring Your Own Device policy (BYOD) could cost your company’s reputation

By Emma Drew

September 3, 2014

Your Bring Your Own Device policy (BYOD) could cost your company’s reputation

BYOD is a trend that is here to stay with some predicting that 40% of companies will stop providing employees with devices by 2016.

The benefits to companies include savings in IT hardware spend and increases in productivity, but risks include a host of privacy and data security issues.

In the event of a major data loss, if you don’t have the right insurance cover in place, the cost of repairing systems, restoring data and rebuilding reputation could far outweigh the financial benefits of your BYOD policy.

Earlier this year, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued a notice advising organisations that implement BYOD schemes, to consider their obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998. It highlighted the organisation is responsible for ensuring data is managed in a compliant manner, irrespective of the ownership of the device.

Organisations may not know what data is stored on the device, or in the cloud, and devices may not be as secure as company-issued versions, creating problems for network security. The organisation’s responsibility also extends to protecting the employees’ private data stored on the device.

ICO guidance states that, in the event of a security breach, companies must be able to demonstrate that they have secured, controlled or deleted all personal data on the device. The number and variety of devices the company has to manage can make this difficult.

Managing the risk

BYOD schemes can be successful for both companies and employees as long as the right processes and procedures in place to mitigate the risk:

  • Assess the risks to identify the number and variety of devices being used, the data stored and applications that are being accessed
  • Implement technology to remotely secure, manage and partition the devices as required so that, in the event of remote wiping, an organisation is able to delete only enterprise data and apps and not employee private data
  • Invest in acquiring knowledge by employing IT staff with particular expertise in BYOD implementation and desktop support
  • Create a clear and detailed written policy covering:
    • potential dangers, for example with public cloud services and WiFi networks
    • data security arrangements that have been implemented and any employee obligations
    • the organisation’s responsibility in respect of the employee’s own data
    • the organisation’s rights of access to the device in limited circumstances, for example for security procedures or to access data in the case of a legal requirement
    • how adherence to the policy will be audited and the consequences for employees who fail to comply with it.

Protect your business

Even with the most robust procedures in place, breaches can still happen and companies should speak to their broker to ensure their insurance provides adequate cover.

There are two key aspects to consider:

  1. Incident reporting protocols – the quicker an incident is reported and managed the better the outcome. Companies should ensure they understand which cyber incidents fall within their insurance coverage and ensure it is well communicated across the company.
  2. Based on an audit of cyber exposures, check if the policy has appropriate covers and limits in place. Specialist covers could include:
    • hacker damage including repair, placement or restoration of your network
    • loss of income or expenses incurred from unauthorised access
    • multimedia liability including defamation, disparagement and infringement of IP
    • violation of an individual’s right of privacy
    • breach of confidentiality
    • damage to third party networks or data extortion ransoms.

Contact us

If you’d like to learn more about Technology insurance or receive our whitepaper that covers BYOD and other cyber risks, please contact:

Matt Turner
Technology Specialist

T: 07854 150 063
E: m.turner@perkins-slade.com

 

 

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Protecting Your Company Against Intellectual Property Theft

By Emma Drew

June 12, 2014

Protecting Your Company Against Intellectual Property Theft

Latest figures on the impact of IP theft to UK businesses suggest that it currently costing a staggering £9.2billion; with those most at risk including financial services and software companies.

Most major businesses will have experienced IP theft to some degree, although most have no idea as to extent of the breach. If you run a business, Intellectual Property is increasingly one of the most valuable assets you will own. Despite this, many businesses are still complacent when it comes to ensuring they have the right insurance or preventative measures in place to ensure possible breaches are minimised.

According to experts most businesses could do a lot more to protect their intellectual property. With this in mind, as a company are you doing enough to reduce the risks? How many of the following measures are you as a company implementing?

Restrict access

There are many simple and effective measures companies can implement to prevent data from leaking, one such measure being the introduction of an IT group policy which restricts access rights, therefore restricting sensitive data to those need to access it. Company computers could be locked using encryption codes and password protection mechanisms. In addition, Investing in hardware to prevent access to vulnerable company material can also help prevent IP crime. Blocking external email accounts can be very effective in reducing data being transferred to third parties; in addition, preventing the use of USB and Bluetooth devices and CD/DVD writers can be effective in significantly reducing the risk of IP being stolen.

Comprehensive training programme

Every company should implement thorough training on IP protection and IT policy usage, ensuring that staff are fully aware that data leaking is heavily monitored; this can serve as a preventative measure for employees considering such actions. Having the monitoring systems in place can be extremely useful when gathering evidence should an IP breach occur, in terms of speed of the process, therefore helping to reduce both impact and cost. If your budget allows It may also be useful to consider employing a third party with specialist knowledge in IP theft tracking, as although as a company you may be able to implement measures to detect incidents, it can be difficult to track and prove IP theft without specialist help, as computer evidence is fragile and can be easily destroyed or altered.

Keep up to date

Hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods, with current methods including sending an application which is in fact a Trojon virus, allowing the hacker to remotely access to your system. You should ensure that employees are aware of the dangers of opening seemingly innocent programmes claiming to rid a computer of malware.  You should also be aware that Trojans can take advantage of a security flaw in older versions of Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, so it is essential to keep all internet browsers up-to-date.

As companies around the world continue to vie for maximum market share for their company, the potential for IP litigation will undoubtedly grow at an exponential rate; as a result it is hard to imagine any company in any industry without some type of IP exposure.

How we can help

As a business, are you concerned with any of the following?

Do you want to protect the value of your Intellectual Property portfolio to attract additional investment?

Is your company concerned that it may lose substantial revenue or be forced out of business by being unable to enforce IP rights you have worked hard to secure?

Does your company wish to purchase or license a technology from another company but are worried that that the indemnification offered by the company will be inadequate?

Is your company worried that a suit brought by a competitor may result in significant loss or even threaten the very existence of the company?

If you have answered yes to any of the following contact us today

Many of Perkins Slade’s technology policies offer practical help to ensure data is securely and regularly backed up with minimum effort, including access to a data back-up and recovery services which most clients find invaluable and would be costly if purchased directly.

Perkins Slade can conduct an In-depth Audit of your organisation’s exposures and use the findings to build a bespoke insurance and risk management programme to protect your business

We can also enhance protection with a range of specialist technology covers, including:

• Cyber and Data Security

• Hacker Protection

• Unauthorised Access

• Privacy Breach Costs

• Regulatory Privacy Fines and Penalties

• Data Extortion

• Cyber Business Interruption

If you would like more information regarding the potential risks of IP theft or to learn more about Perkins Slade range of technology insurance products, please contact your usual representative. Alternatively you can contact our technology specialist:

Matt Turner T: 0121 698 8092 E: m.turner@perkins-slade.com

* The Guardian

 

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The Risks and Rewards of Nanotechnology

By Editor, Perkins Slade

March 11, 2014

The Risks and Rewards of Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is a relatively new area of science, which utilises particles and structures one hundred-thousandth the thickness of a piece of paper, offering the potential to make huge advances in medicine, electronics and even pollution control.

 

Sectors such as information technology, energy, environmental science, medicine, sport and transportation, among many others, have already embraced nanotechnology

Current uses of nanotechnology:

  • Nanofilms: Thin films that make themselves water repellent, self cleaning and scratch resistant. Nanofilms are used on eyeglasses, computer displays and cameras to protect their surfaces.
  • Nanotubes: Used in sporting equipment, such as tennis racquets, and certain car parts because of their great strength compared to conventional materials.
  • Nanoscale transistors: These electronic switching devices are reducing the size of computer chips, meaning computers can become more powerful.
  • Solar plastics: Thin and lightweight plastic that is replacing traditional solar technology.
  • Drug delivery: Nanomaterials can help in the treatment of cancers and other diseases by carrying different materials on their branches and doing several actions at one time.
  • Water filtration: Use of nanomaterials as membranes for water desalination, as well as filtering and purifying water.

However, as the technology evolves, so do the risks:

  • Scientific studies continue to explore safety concerns, while although oversight of the sector is on the rise, regulators still trail in the wake of the technology.
  • Nanoparticles are so small they could be inhaled, swallowed and absorbed through the skin.
  • Nanoparticle inclusion in products and processes need not actually be known by the producer or user, while there are no common reporting standards that can identify exactly what type of nanoparticle is in each product – all of which is critical to weighing up the risks.
  •  The impact of nanotechnology on the environment; there is a growing debate regarding to what extent industrial and commercial use of nanomaterials will affect organisms and ecosystems.

Alongside the potential risks, there are rewards

  • Sporting equipment has become much lighter and more durable due to the use of nanotechnology.
  • Despite all the fears, like with most emerging technologies it is hoped that there is a period of growing pains before the risks are fully quantified and nanotechnology can begin to finally justify the hype – with exciting developments expected in the fields of medicine and electronics.

Source:  Zurich Insider

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Goodbye, Tax Disc!

By Editor, Perkins Slade

January 7, 2014

Goodbye, Tax Disc!

The Government is changing the law later this year to reduce administration costs and burdens associated with vehicle tax.

 

After 93 years in use, Chancellor George Osborne has announced, from October 2014 the car tax disc will be abolished, meaning motorists will no longer have to display a tax disc in the windscreen of their vehicles.

The tax disc, first introduced in 1921, will no longer be needed as both the DVLA and police rely on a sophisticated electronic vehicle register, ANPR, Automatic Number Plate Recognition. The number-plate recognition equipment being used means if you get stopped by the Police, they’re able to log in to the electronic database and see whether the car is taxed, insured and what the driver ought to look like. In the past 5 years, the amount of windscreens checked for tax discs has decreased by 75%, thanks to the electronic vehicle register.

Although the paper disc will be scrapped, the new online system will still allow people to pay Vehicle Exercise Duty online, at the Post Office or by monthly direct debit. The Treasury said it showed the Government was moving “into the modern age” and embracing technology, making dealing with the government more hassle free.

Richard Westcott, BBC transport correspondent has said:

The fact is that the majority of tax evaders are caught using police cameras that automatically check your number plate. Around 44m tax discs were issued last year. It’s thought around 800,000 people were caught driving without paying.”

 

For further information regarding the abolition of the Tax Disc, visit the Government website.

 

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Tech Track 100

By Editor, Perkins Slade

December 3, 2013

Tech Track 100

Wednesday 27th November marked the annual Sunday Times Tech Track 100 awards dinner, honouring Britain’s fastest-growing private technology companies by sales. This year’s event was sponsored by Hiscox and Barlclays and held at Vinopolis, on London’s South Bank. Guest speakers included; Piers Linney, co CEO of Outsourcery and one of the dragons on the highly acclaimed BBC Dragons’ Den, Dr Mike Lynch OBE, founder of Invoke Capital, and Lord Paul Drayson, founder and CEO of Drayson Racing. Perkins Slade technology expert Matt Turner attended, hosting a table representing Hiscox.

 

The sponsored awards for excellence were:

Fastest-growing company award, sponsored by Hiscox
Winner: MVF

Digital innovation award, sponsored by Hixcox
Winner: m-hance
Runners up: Forward internet group and The Foundry

Best brand award, sponsored by The Sunday Times
Winner: Zoopla property group
Runners up: Skyscanner and Wonga.com

Social innovation award, sponsored by Barclays
Winner: Intelligent Energy
Runners up: AlertMe and Bowman Power

Ones to watch award, sponsored by Barclays
Winner: Hailo
Runners up: Arkex and SwiftKey

International growth award, sponsored by London Stock Exchange
Winner: Mind Candy
Runners up: Essence and Shazam

Perkins Slade would like to congratulate all the winners, runners up and all those nominated on the Tech Track 100 for 2013. 

 

The evening provided an opportunity for like-minded companies, with technology as a common interest to network, and Perkins Slade was honored to be a part of the evening. 

Tweet Us: @PerkinsSlade

 

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Revolution, Innovation and the Internet

By Editor, Perkins Slade

November 12, 2013

Revolution, Innovation and the Internet

ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, has announced the first new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) have been introduced to the Internet’s Root Zone, which is the central authoritative database for the Internet’s Domain Name System.

 

This means the domain name Registries (the organisations approved to operate these delegated gTLDs) can execute the final processes required to make their domain names available to Internet users.  ICANN’s new gTLD Program is responsible for the introductions of new gTLDs that will result in the expansion of the Domain Name System, from 22 gTLD’s, (.com, .net, .org) to 1,400 new names; revolutionising how the internet works.

Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s Generic Domains Division said,

 ‘In the weeks and months ahead, we will see new domain names coming online from all corners of the world, bringing people, communities and businesses together in ways we never imagined. It’s this type of innovation that will continue to drive our global society.’

The Society for Computers and Law state that before the general public will be able to access the new gTLDs on the internet, Registries still need to complete a final process built into the new gTLD Program to protect trademarked rights holders. Following this mandatory 30-day period, a Registry can make the new gTLD available to the general public at its discretion.

Contact Us

If you have any questions relating to the points made in this article or your would like to find out more about Perkins Slade’s approach to Technology, visit our web site or contact Matt Turner by email technology@perkins-slade.com or call 0121 698 8000.

 

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