8,500 mobile devices lost every year at UK airports

8,500 mobile devices lost every year at UK airports

Potential hotspot for data thieves, warns security firm

UK business travellers lose up to 8,500 mobile devices at UK airports every year, according to a survey by information security company SafeNet.

The worst offenders are travellers from major London airports, where more than 400 laptops and 2,500 other mobile devices are lost annually.

Business professionals using airports in the north west of England are misplacing more than 100 laptops and 800 mobile gadgets a year.

The laptops, mobile phones, BlackBerrys and USB sticks contain potentially sensitive information and pose security risks for businesses.

They also make airports a potential hotspot for criminals looking to get their hands on sensitive company data.

"Companies are investing large sums of money in protecting network data, only for employees to run the risk of losing it by carelessly misplacing laptops and mobile devices," said Gary Clark, EMEA vice president at SafeNet.

Increasing legislation across Europe and the rest of the world concerning the protection of personal data, and the huge rise in online fraud and identity theft, makes it vital for companies to protect data at all times, regardless of how it is being stored or transported.

"As mobile working continues to grow across the UK and the globe, security for laptops and mobile devices is more critical than ever," said Clark.

"This trend is likely to increase in the future, and encrypting information on a whole range of mobile devices is becoming just as important as encrypting the network itself to ensure that it cannot be potentially misused."

The problem is not restricted to airports in the UK, according to the research. SafeNet also found that nearly 800 laptops and than 2,500 mobile devices were left at German airports over the same period.