Cyber security fears as 26,000 electronic gadgets are lost on London transport

Personal and work devices including laptops, tablets, e-readers and drones are listed in Transport for London’s lost property records for the most recent financial year, according to new research from the Parliament Street think tank. Security experts warn that the extent of devices losses could lead to attacks from hackers and fraudsters

by News Reporter on 17 July 2018 06:09

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Security experts have warned of that hackers can obtain a ‘goldmine of corporate data’ by accessing lost and stolen devices left on London’s transport network. The call to action comes as the Parliament Street think tank unveiled a new report revealing that Transport for London has reported 26,000 mobiles, laptops, tablets and other gadgets on tubes, trains and buses in the last financial year.

The report revealed that the most lost device was mobiles - topping the list with a staggering 23,453 devices handed in to TFL lost property in the last year. The second largest is laptops with a total of 1,155 lost, after that it is tablet computers at 1,082 devices lost. 568 eReaders were reported to be lost, 10 drones and four Amazon Echos.

Responding to the research Barry Scott, CTO EMEA, Centrify said, “With tens of thousands of electronic gadgets going missing every year, businesses need to wake-up to the fact that fraudsters will be attempting to gain access to critical information through lost or stolen devices." 

He continued, "With cyber attacks increasing at an alarming rate, simple password-based security measures are now no longer fit for purpose. Instead, businesses need to adopt a zero-trust approach to all users, verifying users, their devices and limiting access to the volume of data they can access. Failure to take action acts as an open invitation to cyber criminals and hackers who see lost devices as an easy way into a corporate enterprise”

Under the mobile phone category, Apple iPhones were found to be the most lost device at 7,394 followed closely by Samsung devices at 6,091. Nokia devices placed third with 3,012 devices lost, followed by Alcatel with 1,515 of their mobile phones reported lost. The risks of identity theft to individuals and important data loss to businesses is prominent in mobile phone devices.

For laptops, the largest brand lost on the network was Apple products at 337 devices reported. Second to this was Lenovo laptops with 201 devices reported lost, closely followed by HP with 194 devices lost. Robert Coleman UK&I CTO at CA Technologies also warned that the security threat posed by missing devices had increased dramtatically. "Apps without strong security protection can be an easy route into a goldmine of corporate data," he said. 

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