Remote Workers Losing Laptops

Regularly on my commute to the office, I notice poorly secured laptop bags, rucksacks over shoulders and open, and people busy on their devices giving would-be thieves the potential opportunity to steal belongings. In addition, leaving devices on a bus/train or in a café by mistake is unfortunately far too common. Speaking to Dave about this topic, he said at his previous company the problem of staff losing devices was constant.  More often than not devices were taken when staff were having a few drinks after work, left on a train or in a smash/grab when left on display in a car.

There’s rightly a continual focus on ‘data-theft’ and the need to protect it (we post about it regularly, as do others) but according to new figures, devices stolen/lost by remote/flexible-workers is a far bigger financial threat to British industry than ransomware hackers. Data assembled by Cisco Systems indicates that businesses were fined a total of £26m after employees mislaid their work-issued devices.  Over the last 2-years the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) received more than 3,000 reports of lost devices that contained personal data.

To be able to prevent this, staff must be conscious of where their belongings are, especially when in public or travelling.

As a reminder:

  1. make sure your bags/devices are secure/visible at all times – there should never be a trip to the bathroom or up to the order counter when devices are not in your possession
  2. remain vigilant especially when socialising
  3. make sure devices have 2FA & are backed-up
  4. never leave devices in vehicles
  5. encrypt data using software such as Bitlocker (Windows) or FileVault (MAC)
  6. consider adding a remote wipe capability, so if the device goes back online, it can be wiped
  7. if a device is stolen, report it ASAP so action can be taken immediately
  8. tag devices with a tracking capabilities
  9. make sure staff are aware of their own/company responsibilities – such as having to pay for the item if lost, etc. – have personal insurance if required

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