Company data security threat

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A leading Sheffield-based employment lawyer is urging companies to boost protection of confidential information as more of their staff start to use personal electronic devices at work.

Alan Chalmers, head of employment law at DLA Piper Sheffield, was commenting on research the global law firm has carried out.

DLA Piper found that companies were increasingly concerned about the spread of the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ culture in the modern workplace, the use of social media, the ‘ownership’ of business contacts and the data storage capabilities of portable electronic devices.

The firm’s research showed that employers were most keen to protect details of pricing structures.

Alan Chalmers said: “Every business has information that it considers both integral and invaluable to its success.

“The research shows that employers are very aware that the loss or disclosure of confidential information is damaging to business. However, achieving effective protection in the current economic climate is challenging, particularly in light of the growth of new technology, the use of social media and commercial globalisation.

“Our findings suggest that many existing contracts of employment and staff policies fall far short of achieving effective protection to mitigate the risks.

“Employers simply cannot afford to be complacent; now is the time to equip businesses with the tools they needs to protect their secrets and limit their exposure to legal risks.”