Business Laptops Cost $50,000 to Replace

We’ve heard many times over stories of stolen laptops. Perhaps we’ve even been victims of a stolen laptop, and those of us who have, know that we lose more than just the cost of the hardware.

According to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, notebooks lost or stolen in airports, taxis and hotels around the world cost corporate owners an average of $49,246. Clearly the cost of the hardware is just a small fraction of the value, with the most of the losses coming from data stored on the hard drive.

Intel commissioned the study to “better understand the problems and solutions associated with lost notebooks,” or perhaps to better market its own anti-theft technologies, such as Centrino 2 with vPro.

The sooner a company discovers that one of its notebooks has gone missing, the lower the costs associated with the loss. According to the study, the average cost of a notebook discovered missing the same day lost is $8,950. After more than a week, the cost can jump to $115,849.

While snatching the laptop of a company’s top leader may seem to be the holy grail of corporate espionage, the study found that the CEO’s computer isn’t the one that’s most costly. The study estimates a senior executive's notebook value at $28,449, while a director or manager's notebook is worth $60,781 and $61,040, respectively.

Through analysis of 138 instances of lost and stolen notebooks, the study came to its figures after taking into account costs associated with replacement, detection, forensics, data breach, lost intellectual property, lost productivity, and legal, consulting and regulatory expenses. Data breach alone represents 80 percent of the cost.

Not surprisingly, encrypted laptops mitigate the loss of a corporate laptop by a significant sum. The study found that a lost encrypted hard drive is valued at $37,443, compared with $56,165 for a non-encrypted version.

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  • Encrypt your laptops, restrict who gets to take thier laptops where, and for chrissake, make people store files on your network shares.

    First off, as American's we need to be less inclined to take our work with us out of the office. Less people taking laptops home means less chances of them getting lost or stolen.

    Second, if we must take our laptops with us (off site business meetings or other work related travel), encrypt all your data, and only take what you'll need. I can't believe how many unencrypted government laptops with sensitive information get lost every year. Why does some census worker need 1 million SSNs on their laptop?

    Finally, regardless of whether you use a laptop or desktop, always store you data on the network drives (assuming your company has them, and they should). There's no reason to lose a weeks worth of work when your harddrive dies because you don't like spending a few minutes before you leave work each day copying (or moving) your data to a network share. Network shares should be backed up and redundant, your Dell desktop certainly isn't.
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  • Those are all sensible solutions and would cut down on loss of corporate data. Of course, a lot of that depends on actual user action and involvement -- and users can rarely be counted on to maintain the system that you described.
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  • There's a Pokemon Institute?!

    Oh.. OHhhhhhh.. "Ponemon"...
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