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42% of Enterprises Lack Data Security Policy for Mobile Devices
 
(12/11/2007)

Absolute® Software Corporation asks 185 members of NetworkWorld's Technology Opinion Panel about the state of computer and data security in their organizations. The results revealed that, although computer and data security are high priorities for corporations, they are nevertheless unprepared to prevent data breaches and computer theft. Included here are key findings from the survey.

Vancouver, Canada -- Absolute Software Corporation (www.absolute.com), the leading provider of Firmware-based, patented Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking solutions commissioned Research Concepts LLC to ask 185 members of NetworkWorld's Technology Opinion Panel about the state of computer and data security in their organizations. The results revealed that, although computer and data security are high priorities for corporations, they are nevertheless unprepared to prevent data breaches and computer theft. Included here are key findings from the survey. For additional results and a PowerPoint presentation please visit http://www.absolute.com/survey1107

Although eight out of 10 (81%) organizations ranked computer and data security as a high priority, five out of 10 (53%) do not have policies in place for transporting sensitive files. Four out of ten (42%) do not have data security policies in place for the use of mobile computing devices. Even when companies have policies in place, only one out of 100 (1%) employees are thought to adhere consistently to corporate data and security policies.

Data breaches and computer theft are growing problems in the corporate world with almost one out of every three (27%) companies reporting data breaches and more than half of all companies (55%) experiencing laptop thefts. Worse yet, one out of three (33%) IT managers believe that data breaches and computer thefts have occurred and gone undetected within their organizations.

According to the IT Managers surveyed, the average cost of a data breach was estimated to be $137,000. Almost one in 10 (8%) estimated the cost to be in excess of $1 million dollars. In addition to the hard costs, eight out of 10 (81%) believe that a data breach would cause damage to their reputation or cause them to lose credibility. More than half (57%) of the respondents believe that a data breach can lead to loss of revenue, legal expenses and/or monetary fines. Just under half (44%) of companies believe that they will lose customers and possibly go out of business (3%) in the wake of a significant data breach.

"Despite efforts to implement data security policies, information breaches and computer theft are rampant in organizations because of the human element," says John Livingston, Chairman and CEO of Absolute Software. "Many organizations remain unequipped to protect themselves, their clients and their employees from potential identity theft. The beauty of Absolute's Computrace theft recovery and data protection service is that it provides consistent protection for computers and the sensitive information they often contain whether end users follow corporate policy or not."

Who is at risk when a data breach occurs? One in five (20%) security breaches involves customer information, one in five (20%) involves employee information and one in five (20%) involves social security numbers and/or credit cards.

Less than one in 10 (8%) companies report using asset tracking and recovery technology on all of their computers, although one-third (31%) plan on increasing the use of these types of technologies this year.

On average, survey participants were willing to pay $5,000 to recover a lost or stolen laptop. However, one in four (24%) would pay $10,000 or more and one in 20 (6%) would pay $50,000 or more.

Technology That Helps: Computrace from Absolute Software
Computrace from Absolute Software is designed specifically to protect company computers and the sensitive information they contain. When a Computrace-equipped computer is reported stolen, the embedded Computrace agent sends a silent signal to Absolute's Monitoring Center providing critical location information. Absolute then works with local law enforcement to recover the computer, and, if necessary, assists with search warrant applications and subpoenas to ISP's. Using Computrace, IT managers can also remotely delete information from computers to ensure that it does not fall into the wrong hands1. The stealthy Computrace software agent can survive accidental or deliberate attempts at removal or disablement. Built into the BIOS2 of computers from the world's major manufacturers, the Computrace agent is capable of surviving operating system re-installations, as well as hard-drive reformats, replacements and re-imaging.

1 Certain conditions apply. For full details visit: www.absolute.com/pdf/eula.pdf

2 For a complete list of BIOS-supported computers please visit www.absolute.com/BIOS.

About Absolute Software
Absolute Software Corporation (TSX: ABT) is the leader in Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking solutions. Absolute Software provides organizations and consumers with solutions in the areas of regulatory compliance, data protection and theft recovery. The Company's Computrace® software is embedded in the BIOS of computers by global leaders, including Dell, Fujitsu, Gateway, HP, Lenovo, Motion, Panasonic and Toshiba, and the Company has reselling partnerships with these OEMs and others, including Apple. For more information about Absolute Software and Computrace, visit www.absolute.com.