IT Compliance and Controls

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Cost of a Lost Laptop

May 4th, 2009 · No Comments

There are numerous instances where laptops and portable devices are lost / stolen.  The classic CEO whose laptop disappeared at a conference to those thieves who coincidentally opened the one trunk of an auditor’s rental car and gained access to significant sensitive information sprinkle the news wires.
While imagination can speak to what the impacts may be – Intel sponsored a report by the Ponemon institute on this very topic.
The net result is the majority of costs are derived from the substance of the data and not the actual laptop itself – meaning if there is Proprietary IP or protected sensitive data the costs are impactful.  Check out the Intel page here, and the straight link to the paper here.
The report is centered explicitly on the costs and highlights the worst case scenarios without providing alternate avenues of thought and opportunity.  I would challenge readers of the report to consider how data is managed and utilized in the organization before safety cabling every laptop, deploying full-disk encryption (not a bad idea), or rolling out full dumb-terminal netbooks.
In addition – consider the other devices that are transported with these laptops that can carry just as sensitive (or the same data) without any of the particular solutions or safeguards – your iphone / BB, a collection of USB tokens, CDs, ipod, Kindle, etc…

Consider all the data carriers before pushing out point solutions – data should be managed within an evolving program to satisfy each new channel and environment (Social networks, twitter, IM, torrent …)


James DeLuccia IV

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