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Will Cyber Insurance Cover my Employees’ Laptops?

Caeva O'Callaghan | March 2nd, 2021


Does cyber insurance cover employees laptops?

As more of us work from home, it’s common practice to give employees laptops and devices so they can work remotely. But are they covered by cyber insurance?

Yes. If you give your employee a laptop for work use only, you can have it covered under your cyber insurance policy. This means that if it is lost or stolen, your insurance company will provide cover for any data it contains.

The laptop itself is covered by your business insurance. The differences between these two forms of cover is explained further later on.

In this article, we’ll go over the following questions:

  • Is my employee’s laptop covered by my cyber insurance?
  • How do I claim if my employee’s laptop is lost or stolen?
  • Is the data on my company’s laptops insured?

If you loan or give computer equipment to your employees for work purposes, it’s essential you take all necessary steps to secure these devices. Failing to do so will put your customers’ and your employees’ data at risk.

Insuring laptops, phones and data

As more people than ever are working from home, it’s becoming more common for companies to loan or give their employees devices such as laptops or phones for the purposes of doing work. This makes sense – it helps employees keep their work and personal lives separate, ensures they have the computing power and software they need wherever they go, and (at least in theory) it keeps company data more secure.

Of course, this relies on the company having the necessary cyber insurance in place, as well as the latest anti-virus software and IT security training for employees. Without these basic measures, mobile devices and laptops are the perfect opportunity for hackers to strike.

And if it were to happen, you’d be in high-stakes company: staff in five UK government departments lost more than 600 laptops, mobile phones and USB sticks between 2014 and 2018. And in 2017, a Heathrow Airport staff member lost a USB stick which contained a complete record of security information including badges, maps, CCTV camera locations. Contributing to the resulting £120,000 fine was no doubt the fact that the USB was not encrypted, with no passcode or security of any kind.

These kinds of serious data breaches are not taken lightly, with good reason. Disastrous consequences can result from devices simply falling out of your pocket, which cyber insurance can help protect you from.

What to do if a laptop is lost or stolen?

As soon as you realise one of your devices is missing, you need to get the whole (and truthful) story from your employee, or whoever was responsible.

Once you have a full account of the situation, you should inform the Garda as well as the Data Protection Commission. Failing to do so is against GDPR legislation, and could earn you additional fines later on.

Claiming for a lost or stolen laptop is simple: just get in touch with your cyber insurance provider. Depending on what has been lost, you may also need to contact your business insurance provider.

This is because the laptop, phone or device itself will be covered under your business insurance. Claiming on this is how you recover the cost of the device, which should be considered, even though it should never be your main priority.

However, your cyber insurance is the policy which covers any data the device holds. This is absolutely your top priority, and you should get in touch with them as soon as you notice a leak.

How do you keep your data safe?

When you contact your cyber insurance, they will also provide you with advice on what to do in terms of remotely disabling the laptop, if possible, and how to monitor for a possible data breach.

Of course, it’s best to be aware of these precautions beforehand, so you can reduce potential damage as quickly as possible.

Encryption of laptops, phones, data storage and other devices is very important. This will render the device and the data on the device useless to a thief who targets the physical item. Use strong passwords at all times.

When giving laptops and devices to employees, reduce or eliminate admin access. This will stop malware in its tracks from infecting the server.

And, of course, you should regularly update laptops and phones and use the most recent versions of software and antivirus programs.

Talk to us about your cyber insurance questions?

If you are unsure about what type of cyber insurance policy you need for your business, talk to our cyber insurance experts and they can guide you through all the cover options that you can avail of to protect your business. we look forward to helping you!

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OUR CYBER INSURANCE SPECIALISTS

RACHEL DIXON

CAEVA O'CALLAGHAN

CAROLINE MCARDLE

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.