Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

Laptop Losses Total 12,000 Per Week at US Airports

Nearly 70% are never recovered; many go unreported

Companies lose a lot more laptops than they disclose, according to a report published Monday.

According to a study of 106 major U.S. airports and 800 business travelers published by the Ponemon Institute and Dell Computer, about 12,000 laptops are lost in airports each week. Only 30 percent of travelers ever recover the lost devices. Nearly half of the travelers say their laptops contain customer data or confidential business information.

The report offers a very different view from sources that collect breach disclosure information, such as Attrition.org, where only a few companies disclose laptop thefts each week. Many employees are embarrassed to report the loss of a laptop, and many companies don't report them, experts say.

"It’s staggering to learn that up to 600,000 laptops are lost in U.S. airports annually, many containing sensitive information that companies must account for," said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. "IT departments must re-evaluate the steps they’re taking to protect mobile professionals, the laptops they carry, and company data stored on mobile devices."

Dell used the report to support its launch of Dell ProSupport Mobility Services, a suite of modular asset and data protection services to help companies protect laptop computers and company information, especially when the computers are lost.

The Ponemon study indicates that most airport laptop losses occur at the security checkpoints or at the departure gates, where it's easy to leave things behind. More than 70 percent of business travelers say they feel rushed when trying to get on their flights, and 69 percent said they are usually carrying too many items while trying to catch their flights.

Los Angeles's LAX reported more laptop losses than any other airport, about 1,200 per week. Most of the airports said they generally keep the laptops for some period of times, then destroy them if they are unclaimed.

Sixty-five percent of the business travelers admit that they do not take steps to protect the confidential information contained on their laptops when traveling on business, according to the study. Forty-two percent say they don't back up their data before going on a trip. Fewer than 20 percent of respondents said they have whole disk encryption or file encryption on their machines.

Interestingly, only 1 percent of the respondents admitted personally losing a laptop computer. However, 84 percent say they know someone who has lost a laptop while traveling on business.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 10/27/2020
6 Ways Passwords Fail Basic Security Tests
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  10/28/2020
'Act of War' Clause Could Nix Cyber Insurance Payouts
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  10/29/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
How to Measure and Reduce Cybersecurity Risk in Your Organization
In this Tech Digest, we examine the difficult practice of measuring cyber-risk that has long been an elusive target for enterprises. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-27652
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Algorithm downgrade vulnerability in QuickConnect in Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) before 6.2.3-25426-2 allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-27653
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Algorithm downgrade vulnerability in QuickConnect in Synology Router Manager (SRM) before 1.2.4-8081 allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-27654
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Improper access control vulnerability in lbd in Synology Router Manager (SRM) before 1.2.4-8081 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via port (1) 7786/tcp or (2) 7787/tcp.
CVE-2020-27655
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Improper access control vulnerability in Synology Router Manager (SRM) before 1.2.4-8081 allows remote attackers to access restricted resources via inbound QuickConnect traffic.
CVE-2020-27656
PUBLISHED: 2020-10-29
Cleartext transmission of sensitive information vulnerability in DDNS in Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM) before 6.2.3-25426-2 allows man-in-the-middle attackers to eavesdrop authentication information of DNSExit via unspecified vectors.