Ongoing Laptop Theft Means IT Needs to Be Vigilant; Corporate End Users Are Not

Given the constant hype around tablets and smartphones, we sometimes forget that the laptop is still the go-to staple in the business world.

Although office workers are intrigued with the romance around the Internet of things, Brian Westover artfully proclaimed in PC Magazine: “Bottom Line: If you need to do serious work, need powerful processing or multitasking, or need compatibility with a specific accessory or storage device, there’s no good alternative to the laptop.”

Too bad those laptops are lost or stolen all the time — with consequences that are often serious.

In late 2013, InformationWeek reported on an Intel commissioned survey by Ponemon Research that found 329 organizations had lost more than 86,000 laptops over a 12-month period. Ponemon estimated a cumulative total cost of $2.1 billion ($6.4 million per organization), based on the research.

Laptops are essential to our daily, business-driven lives and yet they are being misplaced or stolen all too often. You’d think consumers would get the message – right? Wrong.

A recently-conducted Harris Interactive poll commissioned by WinMagic, showed only 14-percent of consumers encrypt the data on their laptops. The alarming results in the survey prompted us to write an eBook with tips and tricks for IT pros, given the bad habits their end users are bringing into the office. You can download the eBook by visiting here.

Even though we read about laptop theft all the time, we still forget that regulations requiring the disclosure of data loss don’t discriminate based on the ownership of the lost machine. Many employees have corporate data on their personal machines – the same machines that are disappearing left and right. The bad habits of corporate end users impact a business, regardless of where the work is done. Corporate IT needs to take note.

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