Networking

London calling: More people at Olympics, more stupidity

According to security experts at Venafi, an estimated 67,000 phones will be either lost or stolen at the London Olympics.

Let me start with a disclaimer that I do not think the Olympics are stupid. Like a large percentage of the population around the world, my television stays tuned on Olympic coverage during the Summer and Winter Games. Sure, I cheer for my country, but I'm in awe at the talent and abilities of all of the Olympic athletes.

However, what I'm not impressed by, and what I do think is stupid, is the percentage of phones that will be lost or stolen during the London Olympics — possibly 67,000, according to security experts at Venafi, which is a leader in enterprise key and certificate management (EKCM) solutions.

"50,000 mobile phones are lost or stolen in the London area over any two-week period. During the Olympics, the total population in London is expected to swell by a third, with an extra million people using the tube every day. This, Venafi anticipates, will lead to an additional 17,000 lost or stolen phones, bringing the possible total to 67,000 during the two-week period.

"Given that an estimated 40 percent of all mobile devices, or approximately 26,800, are smartphones, the risk of data loss and data theft during the Olympic Games is high...

"The recent BYOD phenomenon means that more people are carrying more personally-owned devices at any given time than ever before. These powerful, network-enabled devices can access, process and store a great deal of data, much of it valuable and often-regulated business data...

"Organizations with users who can access corporate information, systems and applications remotely from mobile devices should have sound policies and device management systems in place. To help reduce mobile-access risks, Venafi also recommends that enterprises leverage encryption and digital certificates-with sound certificate-management capabilities-to ensure proper authentication and data protection."

Yeah, I've lost my phone before. One time, I was in a shopping mall, and I must have walked back and forth, retracing my steps for over an hour. I finally made my way to the main office, put in a "lost and found" request, and contacted my service provider to let them know that I lost my phone. Believe me, it didn't make me feel like the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

So, whether people at the Olympics are caught up in the excitement of the events and have a knucklehead moment by leaving or accidentally dropping their phone — or people are even more idiotic and decide to steal phones — it looks like London is in store for stupid in epic proportions.

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Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the several blogs.

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