Laptop computers are essential for organizations to make sure their employees have access to information they need wherever they are working—at home, in a meeting, or on the road. A lost laptop creates a two-dimensional problem. First, the laptop itself must be recovered or replaced. Second, and even more unsettling, is the prospect that critical information on the company, its plans and its customers could have been lost as well.
A new Connecting Research in Security to Practice (CRISP) report looks at both types of losses, from a statistical and cost point of view. The CRISP report, “Lost Laptops = Lost Data:
Measuring Costs, Managing Threats,” was commissioned by the ASIS Foundation
The report, by Glen Kitteringham, CPP, examines the internal and external factors that contribute to laptop theft. Who steals laptops? What motivates their actions? Why are companies targeted repeatedly?
Based on an extensive review of published research, the report explores the scope of the problem. A range of detailed solutions is offered. In a sample of worldwide jurisdictions, current legislative efforts impose new sanctions. Several product innovations may help to prevent thefts. Disrupting the ways thieves can unload their bounty is another deterrent. The appendix includes comprehensive lists of physical, electronic and procedural security enhancement, so organizations have specific ways to discourage or prevent thefts.
The report encourages companies to set goals to counter laptop theft and then implement those goals through situational prevention techniques and the seven steps of loss prevention. It concludes with suggestions for further exploration by academic and corporate investigators.
About the Author Glen W. Kitteringham, CPP, is a security professional, environmental criminologist and writer with experience in the security industry dating back to 1990. He has conducted research on a variety of security topics, including crime pattern analysis, retail theft and laptop theft. Kitteringham earned a master’s degree from the University of Leicester and the CPP designation through ASIS International.