Survey: 62 Percent Of Companies Believe Missing Computers Go Unnoticed

Absolute Software Corp. recently polled its customers about their attitudes toward computer and data security. Absolute surveyed two groups: corporate customers of Absolute's Computrace solutions and customers that had purchased Computrace LoJack for Laptops, Absolute's computer tracking and recovery solution for consumers.

"Consumers, as well as corporations, need to have a multi-layered approach to computer and data security," said John Livingston, chairman and CEO of Absolute Software. "Most of us store personal information, banking records, credit card information, passwords and other sensitive data that could be used to harm us if it falls into the wrong hands. For businesses, a lost or stolen computer can lead to the intense media scrutiny associated with a data breach. Consumers who experience the loss of a computer may be at increased risk for identity theft and often lose irreplaceable photos, records and music collections."

Corporations should be fearful of a data breach. By their own estimates, 16 percent believe a significant breach can cost $1 million dollars or more, 20 percent believe it can cost close to $100,000 and 22 percent believe it will cost nearly $10,000. More than half of companies (62 percent) surveyed believe that historically, computers have been lost or stolen that no one is even aware of.

One in five (20 percent) companies reported experiencing a data breach in the past and believe that the majority (61 percent) of data breaches are perpetrated by internal employees. However, one in five (20 percent) also believe that sensitive data has been breached that no one in the company is aware of. What kind of data is being exposed? 39 percent have had confidential business information lost, 22 percent have had employee information breached, 22 percent have had customer information misplaced and 16 percent have had Social Security numbers stolen.

Absolute's consumer survey found that one in five (20 percent) people knew of a friend, family member or co-worker that had their computer lost or stolen. Approximately one in 10 (8 percent) reported having their own personal or work computer lost or stolen.

The majority (62 percent) of consumers had spent between $1,000-$2,000 on their computer. One-fourth (25 percent) spent between $2,000-$3,000 and approximately one in 10 (7 percent) spent more than $3,000.

Consumers are concerned about more than the cost of the hardware when a computer is lost or stolen. Their top four concerns (in order of diminishing importance) are losing their computer, having someone steal their identity, losing files/data and having unauthorized persons access their files.

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