Lost laptops ‘are a ticking data timebomb’

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A lot of data could end up in the wrong hands if companies are not more careful with it.

With so many laptops that have been used in workplaces going missing or getting stolen, Britain is facing a ticking timebomb of data loss, business leaders have been warned.

A poll carried out for Sony’s VAIO Digital Business report 2013 asked people at 600 companies about their security policies and whether or not they have staff taking part in the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) trend.

The research found that 90 per cent of respondents had accessed company data from a personal device at some point, while 46 per cent admitted they would make use of their own smartphone or tablet if their company’s machines were not working correctly.

It is not just personal devices making their way into the office either, as two-thirds reported taking their office’s laptop home with them every day.

However, all this connectivity could be posing a serious threat, as one in four firms admitted they had had a laptop stolen or lost within the past 12 months.

Furthermore, only 28 per cent could say they had anti-theft security features installed as standard to ensure data protection if machines did get into the wrong hands.

Most laptops are currently separated from their owners on trains – and with two-thirds of the survey respondents revealing they store confidential business data on their portable computers, this is potentially a lot of sensitive information lying there for the taking.

Sony said the problem is a combination of bad habits by workers and business owners failing to spend enough on information security.

This is despite the fact that loss of sensitive data was cited as the key concern by more than half of those polled.

A spokesperson from Sony commented: "This indicates that the issue isn’t awareness, but education."

Just last week, the Information Commissioner’s Office criticised some employers for taking too much of a laissez faire attitude towards BYOD and data security after finding that 47 per cent of UK adults now use their personal laptops or tablets for work-related purposes.

Dajon Data Management will be able to help keep information safe by carrying out a tailored assessment of company requirements and then implementing them with minimal disruption. This could include document scanning so that confidential paperwork can be kept in the cloud rather than on employees’ individual laptops.
 

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