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Case Studies

Commuters’ losses

Commuters lost thousands of electronic devices on the Transport for London (TfL) network last year, a think tank has found. Parliament Street has published a report – Identity Crisis: The Risks of Personal Device Security – quoting that 26,272 devices were reported lost on Underground and Overground trains and buses between April 2017 and April 2018. The report details security risks that lost devices pose for fraudulent activity, identity verification and data security for businesses.

The most lost device was mobiles – topping the list with 23,453 devices handed in to TfL lost property in that year. The second largest is laptops with a total of 1,155; then tablet computers at 1,082 devices lost. Some 568 eReaders were reported to be lost, ten drones and four Amazon Echos.

As for mobile phones, Apple iPhones were be the most lost device at 7,394; then came Samsung devices at 6,091. Nokia devices were third with 3,012 devices lost, then Alcatel with 1,515 of their phones. The think tank points to the risks of identity theft to individuals and important data loss to businesses.

For laptops, the largest brand lost was Apple products at 337 devices reported; then Lenovo laptops with 201 devices reported lost, and HP with 194 devices lost.


Barry Scott, CTO EMEA, Centrify says: “With tens of thousands of electronic gadgets going missing every year, businesses need to wake up to the fact that fraudsters will be attempting to gain access to critical information through lost or stolen devices. With cyber attacks increasing at an alarming rate, simple password-based security measures are now no longer fit for purpose. Instead, businesses need to adopt a zero-trust approach to all users, verifying users, their devices and limiting access to the volume of data they can access. Failure to take action acts as an open invitation to cyber criminals and hackers who see lost devices as an easy way into a corporate enterprise.”

And Robert Coleman, UK&I CTO, CA Technologies says: “With businesses investing heavily in purchasing and developing growing volumes of applications to improve employee productivity, the security threat posed by lost and stolen devices has increased dramatically. Apps without strong security protection can be an easy route into a goldmine of corporate data. Nobody can prevent mobiles and tablets from being misplaced, but companies can ensure that the applications which reside on these devices are only accessible by the correct privileged users, so that fraudsters cannot exploit them as a backdoor into the business.”


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