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Businesses Lost 86,000 Laptops Worth $2.1 billion

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

It seems people are a little careless with company laptops.

According to a study conducted by the Ponemom Institute found that 329 businesses have lost more than 86,000 laptops with a combined value of $2.1 billion. The survey, which was sponsored by Intel, suggested airports and train stations are not the riskiest places for a lost or stolen notebook: 40% of losses happen at "seemingly safe" locations such as homes and hotel rooms. The main reasons for the $2.1 billion loss estimate were not the cost of hardware, but data breach, lost intellectual property, reduced productivity and legal and regulatory charges.

Ponemom says that the chance of workers misplacing their laptops or having them stolen is about 5 to 10% over a timeframe of 3 years, depending on the industry that the company is in. Educational and research institutions reported the most lost or stolen laptops (11%), while the safest laptop owners are in the financial industry.

Intel has an interest in the results of this study, of course, and not just because it can contribute to further chip sales. Intel promotes its Anti-Theft technology, which also ties in with the recent acquisition of McAfee, which will play a significant role in adding security to hardware.

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  • 20 Hide
    mavroxur , December 6, 2010 6:18 PM
    In other news -

    "eBay laptop sales up by 86,000 laptops worth $2.1 Billion"
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    mavroxur , December 6, 2010 6:18 PM
    In other news -

    "eBay laptop sales up by 86,000 laptops worth $2.1 Billion"
  • -7 Hide
    cctchristensen , December 6, 2010 6:26 PM
    I didn't know laptops were going for $24,000; no wonder they were stolen.
  • 0 Hide
    joytech22 , December 6, 2010 6:29 PM
    Wait how do you lose a laptop?

    I mean iv'e lost a charger to a laptop before but NEVER lost a laptop!
  • 1 Hide
    agnickolov , December 6, 2010 6:29 PM
    At $24.4K a pop and considering the average laptop price is probably under $1K, we are looking at something like 25 : 1 ratio of data loss vs monetary loss due to the laptop hardware itself, maybe even closer to 30 : 1.
  • 8 Hide
    Simple11 , December 6, 2010 6:33 PM
    cctchristensenI didn't know laptops were going for $24,000; no wonder they were stolen.



    Read the entire article instead of just the headline.
  • 3 Hide
    stm1185 , December 6, 2010 6:35 PM
    cctchristensen how about reading the piece instead of just commenting on the headline. They actually explain it quite well.
  • 3 Hide
    mikem_90 , December 6, 2010 6:57 PM
    joytech22Wait how do you lose a laptop?I mean iv'e lost a charger to a laptop before but NEVER lost a laptop!


    Theft, forgotten in a taxicab, etc..

    Some people are just walking accidents. Ask an IT department for a large business sometime. There are usually a few people who you have to work hard to keep them from losing these things.
  • -1 Hide
    Be0wulf22 , December 6, 2010 7:02 PM
    Someone will make a joke about apple laptops (pictured) being expensive in 3...2...1...
  • 1 Hide
    f-14 , December 6, 2010 7:12 PM
    i know an esi laptop that was stolen that had about 5billion worth of information on it as well as government lists and contracts and information about a ton of high profile people's private information on it as well. there's a 2 million dollar reward for information leading to it's recovery and another 5 million for information leading to the arrest of the person who stole it. i would not be surprised if it has landed at the hands of people attached to the wikileaks.
  • 0 Hide
    orionantares , December 6, 2010 7:41 PM
    f-14i know an esi laptop that was stolen that had about 5billion worth of information on it as well as government lists and contracts and information about a ton of high profile people's private information on it as well. there's a 2 million dollar reward for information leading to it's recovery and another 5 million for information leading to the arrest of the person who stole it. i would not be surprised if it has landed at the hands of people attached to the wikileaks.


    Hope they used some top-notch encryption and a fail-safe erasure protocol after too many failed access attempts.
  • 1 Hide
    tsnorquist , December 6, 2010 8:19 PM
    I wonder how many of these laptops have been stolen/sold via TSA agents & Baggage handlers.
  • 0 Hide
    builderbobftw , December 6, 2010 8:28 PM
    yeh, sure "lost" maybe some employees jsut wanted a slary boost courtsey of ebay...
  • 1 Hide
    10tacle , December 6, 2010 8:44 PM
    tsnorquistI wonder how many of these laptops have been stolen/sold via TSA agents & Baggage handlers.


    Actually most business travelers don't let their laptops out of sight and take them onboard. So it's probably less than 10%. Most losses probably come from car break-ins, home invasions, and even workplace theft (usually the cleaning crew).
  • -1 Hide
    gm0n3y , December 6, 2010 9:16 PM
    Companies don't usually supply Apple laptops for work. Why would they pay more for a machine that does less? Workplaces don't care about what's 'cool'.
  • 1 Hide
    iamtheking123 , December 6, 2010 9:21 PM
    When my company gave me a laptop, I treated it like gold. Not only was it more powerful than the computer I had, but it let me do a lot of things I couldn't otherwise do before. It'd be one thing if my apartment was broken into and stolen, but I'd be embarrassed as all hell if I lost it on my own fault.
  • 0 Hide
    fflam , December 6, 2010 9:36 PM
    there is a policy at a company around here that says if you are traveling for work you must "check out" a new laptop. transfer only data pertaining to the trip you are going on from the old laptop to the checked out laptop, and leave your normal laptop secured at home.

    the reason for this is 1) sensitive data that is restricted from leaving
    the country. not common but it does happen. 2) if the laptop is stolen/lost they don't want more company information then possible to get lost with it. its a major pain in the ass but thems the rules.
  • 0 Hide
    _Cubase_ , December 6, 2010 9:52 PM
    In other news, Apple also claims businessess have lost as much as $2.1billion worth of MacBooks. So far all two-dozen of the computers have not been recovered.
  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , December 7, 2010 4:40 AM
    research and development as well as financial industries do pay alot for the anti theft tech already now this study will make them pay more.
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , December 7, 2010 5:00 AM
    data encryption and other technology - tracking electronics like RFID, could virtually make the stolen devices unusable.
  • 0 Hide
    Scott2010au , December 7, 2010 9:03 AM
    Problem: (as above)

    Solution: http://anti-theft.intel.com/

    I recommend something other than BitLocker though, it's not a cost effective 'in place' upgrade for Windows 7. (It ain't bad, just 'can you really trust TPM?' - think about it...).
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