A new study of 138 laptop-loss cases suffered over a recent 12-month period by 29 organizations, found that, on average, each lost or stolen laptop cost the employer $49,246. About 80% of the amount, or about $39,000 per laptop, are costs associated with data breaches, i.e., loss of personal data stored on the lost or stolen laptop. Significantly, the study found that:
The faster the company learns that a laptop is lost, the lower the average cost ... If a company discovers the loss in the same day, the average cost is $8,950. If it takes more than one week, the average cost rises significantly to approximately $115,849.
The study didn't endorse any particular brand of notebook protection gear, but noted that encryption on average can reduce the cost of a lost laptop by more than $20,000. (It is important to point out here that most data protection laws (both state and federal) exclude loss of encrypted or secured information from their definition of "breach.")
The study was conducted by the Michigan-based Ponemon Institute and commission by Intel.
("Typical lost or stolen laptop costs companies nearly $50,000, study finds", MercuryNews.com, April 22, 2009.)