Vulnerabilities / Threats
03:50 PM
Connect Directly

Lost Laptops Cost Billions

An Intel-sponsored study finds that organizations fail to grasp the risk of lost laptops.

Businesses are losing billions of dollars annually as a result of lost and stolen laptop computers, a new study shows.

Representatives from Intel, which sponsored "The Billion Dollar Laptop Study," and the Ponemon Institute, which conducted the study, announced their findings at a media event in San Francisco on Thursday.

The 329 organizations surveyed lost more than 86,000 laptops over the course of a year, the study found. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, said that based on these findings and a 2009 survey that put the average cost of lost laptop data at $49,246, the cost to these organizations came to more than $2.1 billion or $6.4 million per organization.

"A lot of organizations are incompetent at protecting information assets," said Ponemon.

Ponemon explained that the value of the lost hardware represented only a small portion of the estimated cost. Most of the cost is linked to the value of intellectual property on these laptops and the fees associated with data breaches and statutory notification requirements.

The study painted a grim picture about lost and stolen laptops. It found that laptops have a 5% to 10% chance of being lost or stolen over three years. Only 5% of lost laptops are ever recovered. Theft accounts for 25% of losses and likely theft for 15%. Sixty percent of lost laptops simply go missing, their fate unknown. Some lost laptops are believed to be stripped for parts.

Intel's interest in this topic can be explained by the fact that it offers anti-theft technology. The latest generation of this technology, Intel Anti-Theft Technology (Intel AT) 3.0, will debut in Intel's Core and Core vPro processor families during the first quarter of 2011. Intel AT provides the ability: to disable access to encrypted data; to prevent the PC from booting; to send customizable messages that display under conditions; to disable a PC after a certain number of login attempts; and to disable a PC when the user has not checked-in as required.

Version 3.0 adds the ability to send a remote 3G SMS message using special cellular hardware to disable the PC, before it can be booted.

1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Five Emerging Security Threats - And What You Can Learn From Them
At Black Hat USA, researchers unveiled some nasty vulnerabilities. Is your organization ready?
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
According to industry estimates, about a million new IT security jobs will be created in the next two years but there aren't enough skilled professionals to fill them. On top of that, there isn't necessarily a clear path to a career in security. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts guests Carson Sweet, co-founder and CTO of CloudPassage, which published a shocking study of the security gap in top US undergrad computer science programs, and Rodney Petersen, head of NIST's new National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education.