The results of the second annual Absolute Software Endpoint Security Report have revealed an increase in the scale and frequency of mobile device thefts.
The report, compiled by endpoint security and management providers, Absolute Software, has shown an increase in the number of laptops and tablets that are stolen globally and are recovered in another country. Compared to last year's report, devices have been recovered in an additional eight countries, including Mongolia, Gambia, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Extended locations and the rise in device thefts wasn't the only shift. The report revealed an increasing trend for remote data deletes and sensitive data retrievals from stolen devices. Since last year's report, the number of remote data deletes has risen by 34%, and the amount of devices from which data is being remotely retrieved has increased by 135%.
Overall just under five gigabytes of data was retrieved from stolen devices. These trends have indicated the increasing value of data from both a compliance and risk perspective. Organisations are under pressure to adhere to stricter data breach compliance, such as the European data protection laws, in the hope of avoiding potentially crippling fines and a knock to customer and stakeholder confidence. As a result, organisations are focusing less on hardware recovery and more on the security of the data itself.
Derek Skinner, regional director, recovery and investigative services EMEA, Absolute Software, said: "With data breaches and missing devices often highly publicised by the media and regularly incurring major fines, businesses face an increasingly complex challenge if they are to keep a closer eye on their devices. A lost or misused device can leave an organisation in a very vulnerable position.
"With reputations on the line, it is no longer simply the cost of the device but the wealth of sensitive data sitting within tablets, laptops and smartphones that is causing IT and business headaches. It is no surprise therefore that our report reveals a rise in remote data wipes. The sooner an organisation can secure a stolen device and render the data on it unusable to thieves, the easier it is for it to prove there hasn't been a data breach."
The results of the report show that London is the top theft location in EMEA, followed by Kampala in Uganda and Pretoria in South Africa. Across EMEA, businesses have become the top device theft hot spot, for both internal and external burglary.
This is a change from last year, where domestic locations were the top theft location for corporate devices. The report also identifies cars and domestic properties as being the second and third most popular locations for corporate device theft. This highlights the increasingly blurred lines between personal and work devices, as well as the increased mobility of the tools that office workers are using.
Data within the report has been provided from the 6m devices protected by Absolute's Computrace software.