900 laptops lost at Heathrow each week

An astonishing 900 laptops are lost each week at London’s Heathrow airport, according to new research.

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An astonishing 900 laptops are lost each week at London’s Heathrow airport, according to new research.

Heathrow has the most severe problem of laptop losses in the whole of Europe, the Middle East and Africa region. Some 3,300 laptops go missing or are stolen across Europe’s eight largest airports each week, and over half of those that end up in lost property offices are never reclaimed.

The research, conducted by information management researchers the Ponemon Institute, on behalf of Dell, found that nearly half of businesspeople kept confidential information on their laptops. Over half of them had taken no steps to prevent the data being used if their laptop were lost or stolen, and four in 10 had not backed up the data.

The news follows other Ponemon Institute research that found up to 12,000 laptops are lost weekly in US airports, and comes as Dell launched ProSupport Mobility Services that include laptop tracking and remote data deletion.

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

“IT departments must re-evaluate the steps they’re taking to protect mobile professionals, the laptops they carry and company data stored on mobile devices.”

Dell recommended a series of steps to help protect laptops, starting by labelling them with full contact information. Using encryption to protect data was vital, it said, as well as reassessing which information it is necessary to store on the laptop. It attributed some losses to business travellers having to rush at the airport and making mistakes.

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