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.