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Laptop theft can strike at the heart of a company’s reputation and revenue. Consider the sheer number of laptops that store corporate data, much of it highly confidential. In fact, whether the device is company-issued or a personal BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), employees average three mobile devices per user.1 That’s a lot of traveling devices and a lot of insecurity. If these devices contain unprotected and sensitive information, then the consequences can get very ugly, very fast.
Serious data breaches from stolen laptops can happen to any company, regardless of its size. In 2014, an unhappy employee stole over 55 laptops from two locations: Coca-Cola’s Atlanta headquarters and a local bottling plant. The theft netted tens of thousands of unencrypted HR records, which stored personal information on over 74,000 employees and contractors.2 The records contained massive amounts of personally identifiable information (PII) including 18,000 Social Security numbers and many more addresses, names, and driver’s license numbers. An employee filed a class action suit against Coca Cola on behalf of everyone whose PII was breached.
In April 2015, a US Healthworks employee left his laptop in his car where it was stolen during the night.3 The loss extended far beyond a single individual. The laptop was protected by a password but the data on it was not encrypted even though it contained PII including customer names, addresses, dates of birth, job titles, and Social Security numbers. The healthcare firm offered employees free enrollment in identity protection services for one year – frankly, the least they could do.