The data risks surrounding working from home have not really been considered in any detail by much of the insurance sector. Many younger staff are working and living in housing where others are present, listening to conversations and able to study personal data, or film/photograph it whilst their housemate is working. Older staff may well have partners or relatives visiting their property who have criminal records.
Individuals can sometimes feel isolated from their employer, left out of meetings or ignored and that can lead to situations where selling personal customer data is seen as `payback’ by the disgruntled employee. Then there’s the risk to the actual PCs, laptops and smartphones themselves, which can be damaged or lost in a home environment, again not always the fault of the person employed but caused by others with access to the property. Even out of control children.
Very little of this WFH reality seems to have affected the great rush to embrace the concept across the insurance industry. Forbes seems to think that WFH and the recent spike in data breaches is linked, and you know what, they could be right.
WFH has the potential to offer a superb work-life balance, but people need management day-to-day and humans tend to work better together, rather than figuring everything out for themselves. IE predicts more data breaches, more fraud, more expensive equipment damaged or `lost’ as time goes by…maybe we will be proved wrong. Meanwhile, here’s some research by HSB;
Research conducted by HSB (UK and Ireland) with insurance brokers suggests that two-thirds of businesses are not considering computer insurance risks arising from evolving working practices. HSB’s survey reveals that 67% of UK national, super-regional and provincial brokers believe their commercial clients have given little consideration to computer insurance in relation to hybrid working, with only 29% adequately contemplating the associated risks.
Contrasting attitudes towards computer risks
HSB’s findings highlight that, for super-regional brokers, over three-quarters (76%) of their clients state they have given ‘not very much’ or ‘no’ consideration to computer risks. In contrast, national brokers stated that 40% of their customers had given ‘quite a bit’ of consideration to the potential risk of their business not being covered for their computer equipment.
As employees transport computer equipment between their home and work premises, some businesses may not have considered their insurance policies and the potential risk exposures of remote working over the longer term.
Earlier this year, another HSB survey highlighted that almost half (46%) of employed and self-employed workers have experienced lost or damaged computer equipment as a result of working from home or commuting to and from the office. This suggests that businesses need to consider whether their computer equipment is adequately covered to minimise the costs and impact associated with damaged and lost equipment.
HSB’s latest research also shows that brokers are placing a combination of commercial combined, office and standalone computer policies for computer risks. Office policies (62%) and commercial combined policies (61%) are most commonly placed by super-regional and provincial brokers respectively, whereas 60% of national brokers favour computer (standalone) policies to mitigate such risks.
Mat Prentice, Cyber Product Leader at HSB, said: “Our research findings suggest that many businesses are still unaware of the potential risks to computer equipment, particularly when considering insurance”.
He continued: “With hybrid working seemingly here to stay, businesses should reassess whether their existing insurance policy protects their computer equipment. By providing expert advice, insurance brokers can play a vital role in ensuring businesses have the right level of cover for the modern working landscape.”