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Is It Time to Ban Mobile Devices?
CNBC.com | August 09, 2010 | 03:17 PM EDT

It’s impossible to imagine a work environment that doesn’t include smartphones or portable computers. But the same features that let us keep up with work demands outside of work are threatening to become the Trojan horses of the mobile device world.

Consider how fast the confidential data and intellectual property stored on many employees’ smartphones, tablets and USB sticks can turn into a liability if that information falls into the hands of competitors or criminals.

This is not a small problem.

According to a 2009 study on the cost of data breaches by the Ponemon Institute , nearly one in three (32 percent) of the data breach incidents in the study involved lost or stolen laptop computers or other mobile data-bearing devices.

These incidents also come at a higher cost.

The average organizational cost of a data breach was US $3.4 million, but all countries in the study reported noticeably higher costs when the incidents involved mobile devices.

One of the reasons behind these higher costs may be the fact that mobile devices raise a wide range of issues. How many of these apply to your own use of a mobile phone or jump drive?

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