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London Losers Misplace 25,000 Mobiles Whilst Traveling

Londoners lost a staggering 25,000 mobile devices on the transport network last year, highlighting the continued risks of BYOD, according to new research from ViaSat.

The security and communications company obtained the figures by submitting a Freedom of Information request to Transport for London (TfL).

It revealed that mobile phones were the most common devices lost whilst on the move. Some 12,091 were left on buses, 7065 on trains and 2135 in taxis.

When it comes to laptops, 352 out of 755 devices are left on trains, while tablets are most often misplaced in black cabs – 294 out of 672 devices, to be precise.

It’s likely the true figure for device losses is even greater, as these stats are only reflective of the number of devices subsequently found and handed in to TfL.

Although Christmas time may seem like a peak period for device loss, it’s actually summer that accounts for most misplaced items, according to the research.

Between the beginning of June and the end of August, Londoners lost an average of 2360 devices a month in 2013, versus 2016 in December – including New Year’s Eve and Day.

ViaSat UK CEO Chris McIntosh told Infosecurity that the BYOD trend had increased the risk of corporate data loss.

“The simple fact is that, human nature being what it is, businesses cannot prevent individuals from using their own devices,” he said.

“Indeed, recently we’ve even seen reports that the UK armed forces are slowly relaxing their BYOD policies. What this means is an increase in devices that are outside of IT’s full control and therefore that can easily present a security risk if the correct measures aren’t taken.”

He recommended organizations consider thin client set-ups so that data is never stored on the device itself but accessed from an internal server via a secure connection.

“By only providing services in this way, and putting in controls to ensure data cannot be physically saved on non-specified devices, IT benefits everyone,” McIntosh added.

“The business knows that its data is secure and its workers can use it as needed, while employees don’t have to worry about putting sensitive information at risk or filling up the space on their own devices with corporate data.”

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