Lost Laptops Costing Businesses Billions of Dollars

Friday, December 03, 2010

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Poneman Institute in conjunction with Intel released a report that shows businesses are losing billions of dollars a year due to lost and stolen laptop computers.

The Billion Dollar Laptop Study found that more than 80,000 laptops had gone missing from just over 300 companies in the course of a year, with a $50,000 price tag associated with each lost unit.

The total cost to the businesses surveyed was over two billion dollars, an average of almost six and a half million dollars per company.

"The biggest vulnerability we all face today is misperceiving risk," said Malcom Harkins, Intel's chief information security officer.

Only a fraction of the losses was due to the cost of replacing the equipment. The majority of the dollar amounts cited were due to the loss of proprietary information and intellectual property, the report states.

Laptops have nearly a one in ten chance of being lost or stolen over a three year period, and only about a one in twenty chance of ever being recovered.

"Laptops are always the greatest risk in any given security assessment, more so even than smartphones," said Kevin Beaver of Principle Logic.

The report also noted that security checkpoints during travel periods are the most likely spot for laptops to be lost or stolen.

There are products available that provide tracking for lost hardware, and it is recommended that sensitive data always be encrypted on mobile devices to limit the the scope of damages.

Source:  http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/vulnerabilities/showArticle.jhtml

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