900 laptops lost at Heathrow per week

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900 laptops lost at Heathrow per week

More than 3,300 laptops are lost or go missing at the eight largest airports in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) each week, according to new research commissioned by Dell.

The Notebook Lost & Found study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that nearly six out of 10 of the lost laptops go unclaimed.

Heathrow tops the list at 900 lost laptops per week, followed by Schiphol with 750 and Charles de Gaulle with 733.

The problem is not limited to Europe, as an estimated 12,000 laptops are lost or stolen weekly in US airports.

More worryingly, nearly half of the professionals surveyed keep confidential information on their laptops, and over half take no steps to protect that data in the event of loss or theft.

Dell has warned that this combination is a gaping hole in data leakage prevention for many companies.

"It is staggering to learn that more than 175,000 laptops are lost or go missing in major European airports every year, many containing sensitive information that organisations must account for," said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute.

"IT departments must re-evaluate the steps they take to protect mobile professionals, the laptops they carry and company data stored on mobile devices. "

The call for greater protection was echoed by Kensington, which highlighted the importance of physical security in locations such as an airport.

"High-profile laptop losses have become rife in recent months, showing just how important it is to make sure devices are properly secured," said George Foot, sales and marketing director at Kensington Europe.

"Even though people know that laptops can be easily stolen or lost, they still seem ambivalent to the threat.

"The alarmingly high numbers of devices that are lost by ordinary people each week highlight that this does not always happen to someone else."

In response to the findings Dell has introduced Dell ProSupport Mobility Services, a suite of modular asset and data protection services to help organisations protect laptop computers and company information.
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