May 22, 2014 — Acronis
Backup and recoveryCybersecurityEndpoint protectionInnovations and technologiesIT channel insightsExecutive vision

Theft Protection: One-Fifth of Stolen Devices Contain Important Data

Acronis
Cyber Protect

Mobile devices are getting smarter, allowing people to work on-the-go and access information anytime, anywhere. But while technological advances provide unprecedented opportunities for mobile workers, they also present more data security challenges.

In the UK, 20 percent of stolen mobile and computing devices contain important data, according to research from network security vendor ViaSat. While most devices are stolen for the value of the hardware on the second-hand market, a growing number of those devices have their content accessed by someone other than their owners, Ernst & Young reports.

More than 164,192 pieces of computing and communications equipment were stolen across the UK between March 2013 and February 2014, and companies reported 14 percent of those thefts. When it’s a company device that’s stolen, or even a personal one with sensitive company information, compliance issues arise. If sensitive client information is exposed, for instance, the device owner and her employer could be on the hook.  

“If less than 1 percent of the devices stolen in burglaries or personal thefts contained any sensitive information, that is still a huge amount in the wrong hands,” Chris McIntosh, CEO of ViaSat UK, told IT Pro. 

In the U.S., Consumer Reports estimates that 3.1 million phones were stolen in 2013 — a 100 percent increase from 2012. About one-third of smartphone owners surveyed weren’t taking even the simplest measures to protect their phones and the data on them.

With theft of mobile devices on the rise, it’s more important than ever to secure sensitive information. “It’s clear the need to protect personal information must be understood by everyone, from heads of security to housewives and husbands,” McIntosh says.

[Image via Can Stock]

More from Acronis