According to a study commissioned by Intel, lost laptop computers cost a company, on average, $50,000 dollars. The study is based on an opt-in survey done by the Ponemon Institute of 28 companies who reported 138 separate cases of missing laptops.

The $50,000 figure was estimated primarily by looking at factors such as the cost of the data breach, the cost of investigating what data may have been compromised, lost productivity while a replacement was sourced and the cost of the hardware itself. What should jump out at you when you look at these figures is that the cost of replacing the laptop itself is at most 10% of the cost to companies of losing the laptop.

According to the study it isn’t CEO laptops being lost that cost a company the most money. In fact it is the mid-level management laptops that cause the most problems. This is because, on average, the laptop computers of mid-level managers host data that is more important and more sensitive than the data hosted by executives higher up the food chain.

The Ponemon institute estimates that laptops where encryption was implemented cost a company less, though have prefaced this because in most cases the cost wasn’t minimized because encryption wasn’t comprehensively deployed and those investigating the loss couldn’t be sure that all sensitive data stored on the laptop was actually encrypted.

For the study itself, go to: http://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-3076