Back view of businessman with a bag and suitcase walking in London Underground

Post pandemic commuters are 22% more likely to lose their devices

Is hybrid-working opening the door to new threats?

A person placing a laptop inside a backpack

Following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to London’s TFL, we can reveal a huge increase in the risk of losing electronic devices on transport journeys across London in 2021.

Comparing pre and post-pandemic lost property and journey activity, the data shows a 22% increase in electronic device losses across the city and on the modes of transport typically used by commuters, which includes London Buses, London Overground, London Underground, TFL Rail, Docklands Light Railway and Emirates Air Line*.

This is an alarming statistic, given that hybrid working is now the norm. Company data is regularly travelling with employees, whether on USB drives, laptops or smartphones. More frequent electronic device loss means greater exposure to risk for organisations.

What does this mean for you?

For the most part, you might think your data is safe under your current security strategy. However, when data is taken outside of the office, your existing cybersecurity and DLP (data loss prevention) policies can no longer keep you safe, exposing your company to data leaks and the loss or theft of company data.

You only have to look at the news to know that data loss can be hugely expensive, whether it’s the impact of fines due to GDPR, losing Intellectual Property (IP) or even the loss of employee information.

The pandemic has seen a huge shift in how and where employees work. As they return to the office, this huge 22% increase should not be overlooked, as it suggests that employees are “out of practice” and at higher risk of losing their devices during their commute. This means ensuring that your organisation has the right tools in place, to protect your employees and the company data they hold, has never been more important. This is where Kingston IronKey can help.

Rob Allen, Director of Marketing & Technical Services - Kingston Technology EMEA

So, what can you do?

Easy. You can prevent this by using devices with hardware-based encryption, as it’s the best way to keep data protected should a device become lost.

Trusted by government agencies, military intelligence, and corporations alike, the Kingston IronKey range of encrypted USB flash drives and SSD external storage solutions are the perfect tool to keep data safe. They have Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 and FIPS security built in, offering the best encryption strength on the market today. And as data on a lost or stolen device is encrypted, it cannot be accessed.

This ensures data is kept secure, even if the host computer becomes compromised. This includes passwords and passkeys, as well as USB-specific attacks. Plus, you can audit activity and remotely wipe data with managed versions, so you are always in control.

All of which means you can rest easy, knowing that you not only comply with regulations, but the risk of leaking confidential company information is significantly reduced, wherever your employees may be.

We have software-based encryption - so we don’t need to worry, right?

Not quite. Many organisations think they are safe by using cheap, unencrypted USB drives, and then securing them with software-based encryption. But this can be a false economy.

Only relying on software-based encryption, that exists on an employee’s host PC, may not be enough to protect data from this new threat.

In short, this type of encryption can be removed with little effort, opening the door to employee workarounds, data loss, or - even worse - engineered attacks.

Knowing this can make the difference between the frustration of “just” losing a device and the damaging cost of a full-scale data breach.

#KingstonIsWithYou #KingstonIronKey

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