London 2012 to see 67,000 smartphones lost and stolen

Experts predict the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games will see a rise in stolen handsets

With just days to go until the London 2012 Olympic Games kick into action, experts have predicted the Games will see a rise in phone crime

As the London 2012 Olympic Games near, security experts have warned that as many as 67,000 mobile phones are likely to be lost or stolen during the course of the sporting celebration.

Due to a widespread increase in smartphone usage and a rise in popularity of other portable networking devices such as tablets and PMPs, experts are predicting there is the potential for more corporate and personal data to be lost than ever before, with handset owners largely unaware of the full effects of the risks.

With a staggering 50,000 mobiles lost or stolen during any given two-week period in London, as an additional million people ready themselves to descend on the city each day, network security specialist Venafi has predicted an additional 17,000 handsets could go missing during the course of the games.

A risk that could be far more costly than the simply outlay of a new device, stolen handsets see users at risk of data abuse with the 67,000 devices predicted to go astray during the Games leaving owners at risk of up to 214.4 terabytes worth of stolen data, around 200 million books’ worth.

“There’s been an explosion of corporate data available to users from their mobile devices,” said Gregory Webb, Venafi’s Vice President of Marketing. “This is a real danger and one that is often overlooked.”

He added: “People don’t consider or take action to protect the vast volumes of information they carry and have internet access to. With the ever-shrinking boundaries between work devices and work-enabled personal devices, lost or stolen smartphones and other mobile devices that fall into the wrong hands place companies and business data at tremendous risk.”

Laptops and tablets, not included in the findings, are at higher risk of data breaches during the Olympic period due to their larger storage volumes.

Are you concerned about the increased risk of your handset disappearing during the London 2012 celebrations? Are you protected against data theft? Let us know via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Words: Tom Parfitt