IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Mobile Device Security: Startling Statistics on Data Loss and Data Breaches

The true cost of a lost mobile device goes far beyond the price of replacement. Just add up the productivity lost, downtime, support required, and management time. By Elaine J. Hom

A recent study released from Kensington reveals the costs associated with the loss or theft of mobile devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The data shows that the cost of the loss is far greater than the cost of the device itself, thanks to lost productivity, the loss of intellectual property, data breaches, and legal fees. With the loss of a single laptop, including downtime, support, and management time, the average loss exceeds $49,000. For SMBs, this kind of loss could spell disaster.

Some startling statistics from Kensington's infographic:

  • One laptop is stolen every 53 seconds.
  • 70 million smartphones are lost each year, with only 7 percent recovered.
  • 4.3 percent of company-issued smartphones are lost or stolen every year.
  • 80 percent of the cost of a lost laptop is from data breach.
  • 52 percent of devices are stolen from the office/workplace, and 24 percent from conferences.

"When it comes to SMBs, we find that a lot do not have security policies in place," says Rob Humphrey, director of security products at Kensington. "If they do, they're not enforcing their policies." The cost of recovering from a single corporate data breach has nearly doubled from 2005, going from $3.3 million to $7.2 million in 2010. That means a single data breach could bankrupt an SMB. The only way SMBs can protect themselves is a strong security policy and educated employees.

According to Kensington, a well-implemented security policy reduces laptop theft by 85 percent. Here are five recommended best practices in securing mobile devices:

  • Implement a mobile security policy
  • Invest in physical security
  • Never leave devices logged into networks, email, or websites
  • Encrypt all data and secure networks
  • Authenticate users and always know who has access

"Have an enforcement policy," says Humphrey. "That's not to be draconian or heavy-handed, but simply to remind employees that the policy is there to help them. Enforcement will help everybody in the long run."

Mobile Device Management Must-Reads

Use the resources below to learn more about bolstering your customers' mobile device security policies and prevent data loss or data breaches.

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