The Other Side of Digitalization: Theft of Electronic Devices Can Become a Major Security Breach

Nov 25, 2021 at 10:11 // News
Lana Smiley
You can get into serious trouble if your gadget is stolen

Nowadays, it is difficult to imagine life without gadgets. People tend to trust them with the most valuable information, including sensitive data and banking details. It's no wonder that if a device is lost, the consequences can be severe.

Electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops and PCs have always been popular with burglars because of their value. They were stolen and then sold for a profit. But now, it's not the only thing that attracts thieves. Gadgets practically contain human lives. 

For example, if a criminal stole a smartphone, one can get almost all the information about its user, including banking details and even access to money. So money can be transferred to a thief's account and personal data can be sold on the darknet.


Big problem for companies

The problem has become particularly explosive for businesses, as stolen devices could make them targets of various attacks. With the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the percentage of remote workers has increased significantly. For example, according to a report by CoinIdol, a world blockchain news outlet, about 61% of blockchain and cryptocurrency industry employees work entirely remotely.

Many of them use their personal laptops, PCs and smartphones to access corporate data. This can lead to a major security breach if a device falls into the wrong hands. The consequences can get a company into serious trouble, and the worst part is that this breach is difficult to fix.

Virtually all businesses and institutions face this problem. For example, the Bank of England alone lost 161 electronic devices between 2018 and 2021, according to data obtained by Parliament Street Think Tank through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

This is a cause for concern for UK business leaders as it exposes the bank to the possibility of a data leak and other threats. Should a missing device fall into the wrong hands, numerous businesses could be put at risk. This only proves the scale and seriousness of the problem.


Data protection

When it comes to corporate devices, it is easier to protect them. Most companies have professionals who deal with the various risks. Therefore, each device is usually protected before it is handed over to an employee. In case of loss, the gadget can be immediately locked by a control center. All sensitive information is usually deleted.

However, protection becomes more difficult when seconded employees use their personal devices for work. In this case, they may be accessing or even storing company data on these devices. This can pose a threat to companies if a device is stolen, as it cannot be locked down and the data is exposed to misuse.

For this reason, companies tend to minimize access to sensitive and important data from unprotected devices. Most of them provide protected corporate devices to their employees. This may not eliminate the problem completely, but it can still minimize the risk of loss and misuse of corporate data in case a device is stolen.

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