Enterprise IT Watch Blog

Jun 30 2010   9:39PM GMT

Gartner session reminder of just how vulnerable mobile storage can be

Kevin Beaver Kevin Beaver Profile: Kevin Beaver

I served on a mobile security panel at Gartner this week with Larry Ponemon and my esteemed colleague Stan Gatewood. The insight they brought to the table from both a research and a real-world perspective was phenomenal. I think our discussion served as a strong reminder to all of us that businesses are no where close to where we need to be when it comes to protecting our mobile storage.

For instance, Dr. Ponemon did some research – backed by Intel – that found:

  • There’s a $20,000 cost reduction between lost laptops with encryption versus without
  • The average cost of a lost laptop is over $49,000

Also, the people in the audience were asked to raise their hands if their business has ever experienced a lost or stolen laptop. All but maybe three or four of the hundred or so people in the room raise their hand!

I go back to what I wrote about nearly three years ago in my blog post What’s it going to take to encrypt laptop drives?! Seriously, what is it going to take? Nothing’s really changing.

Another neat takeaway is Intel’s (relatively) new Anti-Theft technology that’s worth checking out. It works in conjunction with drive encryption from WinMagic and PGP as well as asset management/tracking from Absolute and effectively disables the system when a loss or theft has been detected.

We can have optional mobile storage security options until the end of time but I’ve always believed that unless and until computer hardware manufacturers integrate controls that facilitate mobile storage security, such as Intel’s Anti-Theft, at the factory we’re going to continue having mobile storage exposures.

Kevin Beaver is an independent information security consultant, keynote speaker, and expert witness with Principle Logic, LLC and a contributor to the IT Watch Blog.

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