A study by the Ponemon Institute in partnership with Intel comes to some interesting conclusions about the cost, on average, to companies of a lost or stolen laptop.
The study determines that the average cost of a missing laptop is $49,246. That figure only includes about $1600 for the actual replacement cost of the computer itself. The major cost to the company comes from the likelihood of a data breach. The report estimates that the average cost of a data breach is $39,297, or 80% of the total cost of the laptop. According to Mike Spinney
of Ponemon, 49% of the respondents to an earlier study thought that the
value of a lost computer was greater than or equal to the value of the
data that was stored on the computer. To Spinney, this revealed the
need for more extensive data security programs and further education
about the importance that data has for a business.
Some writers have questioned the report's average-cost figures, however. Jon Stokes of Ars Technica points out
that most of the incidents listed in the report cost far less than the
$49,246 average. The remarkable average is a result of a few outliers
with a very high cost.
Still, while the numbers might not
seem so alarming after a deeper analysis, the important points the
survey makes are worth considering, especially for law firms that deal
with large amounts of confidential data and strategies. The data
contained on a laptop could compromise legal work already
undertaken or expose a client's secrets to the world, both of which
could potentially cost the firm millions.
that firm is working on a $5 million dollar matter, for example, and
the information on a lost laptop causes the case to fall apart, that
will have been one expensive laptop indeed.