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News

Huge losses of laptops at US airports put unencrypted data at considerable risk

Credant Technologies : 03 July, 2008  (Technical Article)
Recently published statistic that 10000 laptops a week disappear from US airports raises levels of concern over unprotected confidential or sensitive data held on such devices.
Credant Technologies, the military grade laptop encryption specialist says that research from the US, which claims that around 10,000 laptops a week go missing in airports, means that a lot of company data is going walkabout.

'And perhaps worse, the Ponemon Institute survey also found that 53 per cent of respondents admitted the laptops contained confidential data with around two thirds taking no steps to secure that information,' said Michael Callahan, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Credant

'That means there are almost 220,000 laptops going missing in major US airports with unencrypted and unprotected data on the hard drive. That's an awful statistic,' he added.

According to Callahan, what is also startling is the fact that most respondents to the survey regarded lost laptops at airports as gone forever, and made little or no effort to recover them from lost property.

'This should be a big concern for companies, as airports tend to store lost luggage and other items for a period, before sending them off for auction. That means that the data held on these lost laptops could easily end up in the wrong hands,' he said.

'What's hard to understand is why companies don't take the relatively simple step of encrypting their laptops and other devices given the cost-benefit impact. If the company adopts a policy of encrypting all private and confidential data, then the frightening, and costly, impact of 220,000 unprotected laptops and their data going walkabout each year at major US airports could be significantly reduced,' he added.
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