Laptops, by their design, are portable and susceptible to theft. In 2010, Intel surveyed over 300 public and private organizations and found that 7.1 percent of all employee laptops were lost or stolen before the end of their useful lifespan. Imagine having 100 laptops in your organization with an anticipated lifespan of two years. Few companies would be comfortable with seven of those laptops walking away. It’s not the cost of replacing those laptops that’s worrisome; it’s the data that’s at risk.
Of the estimated $48 billion in data breaches in 2011, about 28 percent are attributable to lost or stolen portable devices. These alarming figures illustrate the importance of laptop data encryption. By encrypting a mobile device such as a laptop or even a USB drive, you can ensure that should it fall into enemy hands, the data cannot be read.
PrivacyRights.org’s Chronology of Data Breaches lists thousands of data breaches made public since 2005. Recent breaches include a missing USB drive containing Social Security numbers, several stolen laptops containing Social Security numbers, and an employee who emailed unencrypted spreadsheet files with sensitive information to a personal email address to work from home. Each of these examples could cause significant harm to those whose information was compromised as well as to the company in whom the data was entrusted. These same problems could be mitigated with a network encryption system.
For example, a network encryption system could either: a.) lock down USB ports so that data cannot be copied to portable devices in the first place or b.) encrypt the contents on the USB drive so that the files cannot be read by anyone without the password. Laptop data encryption would prevent an identity thief from mining that stolen laptop for Social Security numbers. As for emailing a spreadsheet to a personal account, a network encryption system could ensure that all files moved off an encrypted drive remain encrypted.
Can you afford to let 7 percent of your organization’s laptops disappear? Protect your data
, and by extension, your company’s reputation, by investing in a network encryption system.
About the Author:
Daniel is an exceptional author in the technology world, having written articles on examiner, techcrunch and mashable. He enjoys sharing his knowledge on computer and network security with resources coming from companies such as WinMagic, Microsoft, and the Computer Security Institute.