Loss and theft of mobile devices costs BBC over £750,000 in three years

The number of laptops being stolen has almost tripled over this period

A freedom of information request has revealed that the BBC has spent over £750,000 on lost or stolen laptops, mobile phones and tablets in just three years.

Between 2010 and 2012 BBC faced costs of £598,500 due to lost or stolen laptops; £104,100 to lost or stolen mobile phones; and £58,500 to lost or stolen tablets. This adds up to £761,100.

It seems theft of laptops is an increasing problem for the publicly funded corporation, with the number of stolen goods almost tripling over the three year period. In 2010 the number of stolen laptops stood at 69, whilst in 2012 this jumped to 195.

"We are very mindful that this equipment is paid for from the licence fee and we make every effort to keep theft and loss to a minimum," the BBC said in a statement. "The BBC has implemented a number of measures to reduce the level of crime."

Although the BBC is a large organisation with a significant mobile workforce, and so can expect a certain level of expense on mobile devices, the data highlights not only the challenges enterprises face in securing mobile data, but also the recurring costs a mobile strategy can incur.

Tyler Shields, senior security researcher at online security firm Veracode, which this week released a report on the state of software security, warned that enterprises need to ensure that devices aren't vulnerable if misplaced or stolen.

"The huge rise in mobile and tablet devices in the workplace means that staff are able to work from home and on the move, increasing productivity and collaboration. But increased mobility also opens up new risks for organisations due to vulnerabilities in applications that reside on these devices," said Shields.

"To tackle this problem, it's critical that businesses ensure that all devices are protected and secure, by identifying and fixing application vulnerabilities, to prevent malicious hackers from exploiting them."

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