April 14, 2024

Business Bib

Business & Finance Blog

Lost and Stolen Assets

4 min read

In the modern day workplace, employees are becoming more mobile, such that, they are working on laptops, tablets or smartphones from any location apart from the office building. These business assets often contain important information about the organization. If such an asset got lost or stolen, the consequences are more than just the cost of replacing them.

In recent research which was carried out by an online security label manufacturer, the result shows that about 25% of employees have lost key assets relating to their job. The cost of replacing these assets cannot be compared with the implications the lost items will have on the business. According to a study by Kensington:

  • 25% of stolen items occur in cars or other vehicles
  • 23 percent takes place in the office
  • 15% happens in hotels and airports, and
  • 12 percent occurs in restaurants

Research conducted by Seareach on items that are mostly lost or got stolen from employees suggested the following statistics. That:

  1. 36% of all lost or stolen assets are Mobile phones, and the cost of replacement is £550
  2. 23 percent of all lost or stolen assets are Memory sticks, and the cost of replacement is £8.50
  3. 19% of all lost or stolen assets are Tablets, and the cost of replacement is £429
  4. 14 percent of all lost or stolen assets are Laptops and the cost of replacement £249
  5. 8% of all lost or stolen assets are Power packs or Chargers, and the cost of replacement is £15

Apart from the business taking the hit of replacement, the following points are some of the consequences or implication that the lost items may have on businesses.

  1. Loss of data stored on the mobile phone, tablet and laptop devices.
  2. The setback in productivity while a replacement is being sorted
  3. Investigation and claim
  4. The risk of cybersecurity
  5. Security and data breach
  6. The organization password reset and security update
  7. The potential risk of damaging the company’s reputation
  8. Time spent recovering data or re-creating lost project data
  9. Fines for loss of confidential data
  10. Increased staff training

Loss of data stored on mobile phones, tablets or laptop devices

The preservation of data is essential for businesses of all sizes. It was a serious problem for businesses when an item with vital information got lost or stolen. Enough time and lots of money will be spent to restore or recover the information. Losing data always has a long-term impact on the company’s financial status.

Stuart Jailer at Seareach when he was commenting on the study, said:

“Data is a valuable resource for a business that is facing tougher regulations for protecting itself, so although it might be simple to replace a lost or stolen laptop, we can see the consequences are further reaching. Ensuring your devices are regularly backed up, have anti-theft features enabled, and are properly encrypted will help reduce the loss of data and protect confidential information stored on them.”

Security and Data Breach

The loss of a business device poses a serious threat to a data breach. It was reported that over 40% of all data breaches from 2005 to 2015 resulted from lost or stolen business assets. This is because most employees store confidential information on these devices.

Leads to a setback in productivity

When business assets such as phones or laptops are lost, sensitive data may be stolen or compromised. The loss of data is major problem that can upset the day-to-day activities of any information-based business. This can cause businesses to lose the trust of their clients or customers. And if the business recovers from the data loss, it will take time to rebuild the trust and relationship with their clients.

The lost or theft of business assets can have bigger implications on your business when a large amount of data is lost:

  • 94% of companies that experience data loss do not recover
  • 51% of businesses close within two years of data loss
  • 43% of such companies do not reopen again, and
  • 70% of small firms go out of business within a year of a large data loss incident

How to prevent the consequences of lost or stolen assets

One of the most effective ways to reduce the implications of data loss on businesses is to back up all sensitive information. To back up simply means to have additional copies of all important data. Then store your back up in a separate location to prevent it from loss or theft.

Stuart Jailer from Seareach in his comment also added:

“We also advise asset tracking for portable equipment such as laptops and tablets, mobile phones and memory sticks, which will help track and trace items if they are lost or stolen and make claims easier to process. Asset labels help with stock control and whether items need or are due to be replaced. They can also prevent people from tampering with components and deter theft. For many businesses, data is their biggest asset and protecting their technology will help to keep it safe.”