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25% Rise in Lost Devices Reveals a Data Security Threat for Commuters

Commuters and organizations are at risk from data loss as the number of devices lost on public transport is growing

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For the second year running, Kingston Technology has found that the number of electronic devices misplaced on transport across London has increased. This time by over 25% during 2022/23*.

Data obtained via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to London’s TFL (Transport for London) network showed device losses becoming more frequent on the most common means of transport across London, including London buses, taxis, London Overground, London Underground, TFL Rail and Docklands Light Railway.

This statistic should be concerning, since many job roles now offer hybrid working, and employees regularly commute with devices containing company information.

But it doesn’t stop there. Modes of transport most commonly used by commuters suggest the highest risk, with losses on London Underground rising by 39%, and by 40% for taxi journeys.

How could you be affected?

Our work-issued devices are full of private company data, whether it’s company passwords, documents, or customer and financial information.

Exposing this data to third parties could lead to severe consequences for an organization, including fines due to GDPR and CCPA legislation, loss of trade secrets, loss of employee data, and reputation damage.

Within an office environment, that data can be safeguarded by a solid IT security strategy. But outside the office, devices are no longer protected by the same levels of cybersecurity and DLP (data loss prevention) policy.

Hybrid working is now part of daily life for millions of us, so we should all be concerned by the news that the number of lost devices has risen by over 25%. With more people traveling, it shows anyone could absent-mindedly leave a device in a cab or on a train. Organizations should prepare in advance for this possibility to ensure employees and company data are safe. Kingston IronKey solutions can help.
Rob Allen, Director of Marketing & Technical Services – Kingston Technology EMEA

How to avoid data loss and potential breaches

The need for data to travel with your employees continues to be important. And as the lack of flexibility could result in employees looking for unsecure workarounds, flexibility should not come at the expense of security. That’s why the most secure way to keep mobile data safe is to keep it within storage devices that offer hardware-based encryption. By using hardware-encrypted storage, if the device is ever lost, you can rest assured that a thief or other malicious third party cannot gain access to the data it contains.

The Kingston IronKey range of encrypted USB flash drives and external SSD storage solutions are the perfect tools to keep data safe. Trusted and certified by government agencies, military intelligence, and enterprises, Kingston IronKey has the strongest encryption strength available, with built-in Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 and FIPS-certified security. If a Kingston IronKey device is misplaced or stolen, the data is virtually impossible to access by a third party.

Using Kingston IronKey drives means fewer problems for any organization, ensuring both regulatory compliance and a significantly reduced threat of information loss and data breaches for commuting and traveling employees.

Why software encryption does not guarantee data protection

Some organizations think they are safe because they protect their data by securing off-the-shelf unencrypted USB drives using encryption software, which is then unlocked with a password. But this approach to data protection is flawed.

Software-based encryption is removeable encryption, as there are many software tools available to any would-be attacker, enabling them to brute-force passwords or exploit other software encryption vulnerabilities. This makes compromise more likely, opening the door for data loss, or even a full breach of a company’s network.

With hardware-encrypted flash drives like Kingston IronKey, data is encrypted with all security information safeguarded within the device itself, which protects against brute-force attack tools with drive crypto-erase upon exceeding password retry counts. As a result, using Kingston IronKey devices could mean the difference between “just” losing a drive and having a lost device expose your company’s data.

#KingstonIsWithYou #KingstonIronKey

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