Everyday business travelers are putting the sensitive and confidential data of their organizations at risk when they travel through airports. Companies are dependent upon on a mobile workforce with access to information no matter where they travel.
However, this mobility is putting companies at risk of having a data breach if a laptop containing sensitive information is lost or stolen.
According to a study sponsored by Dell and conducted by Ponemon Institute at 106 major airports in 46 states, involving 864 business travelers in the airport environment, in order to determine laptop or notebook loss frequency – revealed that business travelers lose more than 12,000 laptops per week in U.S. airports.
According to the report, the five airports with the highest number of lost, missing or stolen laptops include: Los Angeles International, Miami International, Kennedy International, and Chicago O’Hare. While Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International is the busiest airport in the U.S., it is tied for eighth place with Washington’s Reagan National for lost, stolen or missing laptop computers.
One interesting fact among many others in this study: over 53% of business travelers say that their laptops contain confidential or sensitive information while only 33% of laptops lost and found in airports are reclaimed. As a result, there are potentially millions of files containing sensitive or confidential data that may be easily accessible to a large number of people.
The types of company information contained on business traveler’s laptop computers include
customer or consumer data (47%), business confidential information (46%), intellectual property
such as software code, drawings or renderings (14%), and employee records (13%).