Each lost or stolen laptop costs a company almost $700,000 according to a 2003 BSI study on computer theft. This number is likely even higher now due to more data collection. You might be thinking, “Even high-end laptops only cost about $2000, where does the other $698,000 come from?” The cost is usually split into three parts: replacing the laptop, investigating the incident, and lost intellectual property.
Replacing the laptop is self-explanatory. Investigating the loss can require a lot of time and resources, but will not typically be a big contributor to the total cost. A majority of the cost actually comes from the lost intellectual property that it contains. That’s text documents, spreadsheets, images, anything that contains company information (and since it’s a company laptop, that’s probably everything). This type of data is typically unstructured and is not adequately protected. As a result, the information is accessible to whoever possesses the laptop after it’s lost.
Unfortunately, this happens a lot more than you’d think. In a 2011 study by the Ponemon Institute, it was found that nearly 8% of all laptops will be lost or stolen over their useful lifetime at a company. Imagine 8% of your gas leaking out of the tank every time you fill up. That would be absurd! There is no clear way to stop the loss of laptops, but what can easily be done is minimizing the cost. If IP is completely secured, there will be significantly less cost to the organization.
At SecureCircle, we understand that data is your company’s most valuable resource. That is why we protect all data, structured or unstructured. Only those within your Circle (list of allowed users) will have access to protected files. If a laptop is lost you can simply remove that endpoint from the Circle, and whoever comes into possession of the laptop will not be able to read the sensitive data. Visit https://securecircle.com to learn more about our data security solutions.
Also, check out our Youtube video about a scenario involving a stolen laptop!
Works Cited: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/doc/case-study/mobile-computing-security-eu-benchmark-study.pdf