Laptop thefts from Australian businesses rise: Report

Survey finds more IT managers have reported laptop, IT equipment thefts

Australian IT managers are battling technology equipment thieves with over half of those surveyed reporting losses this year, according to a Kensington business security report conducted by IDC Australia.

The report, which surveyed 100 IT managers and 1000 employees from enterprise and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in July 2011, found that laptops were the main target, with 45 per cent of respondents reporting a loss in 2011. Only 34 per cent of these managers reported a theft in 2010.

According to the results, an average of 2.2 laptops were being lost or stolen from each company per year at an average cost of $3,354 per laptop. The financial sector experienced the most laptop thefts, with 53 per cent of employees filing reports.

However, lax approaches to laptop security was also part of the problem with 78 per cent of the 1000 employees surveyed admitted taking the laptop out of the office, but only 72 per cent secured their device. The report also found that nine out of 10 employees were not concerned, or only slightly concerned, about thefts in the workplace.

In addition, only 63 per cent of the IT managers surveyed had a security policy in place, while 25 per cent of employees said they would be liable if they were found to be responsible for the loss or theft of a laptop.

IT managers working in the financial sector were found to be less likely to have a security policy with 41 per cent indicating that they had a policy in place, compared with 60 per cent from the government sector and 58 per cent in education.

Kensington ANZ marketing and business development manager, Sam Goldstein, said in a statement that IT managers needed to have a security policy in place, and also educate staff about securing their laptops.

“Only 31 per cent of employees claimed that their organisations used laptop locks. Of those that did, over half of respondents issued with a laptop lock reported that they chose not to use because it was too much of a nuisance and 30 per cent said it was too time consuming,” he said.

Goldstein added that IT managers confirmed employees were not using laptop locks, with 39 per cent of the managers blaming the lack of use on employee forgetfulness.

Got a security tip-off? Contact Hamish Barwick at hamish_barwick at

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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