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Portable Problems Prompt IT Spending

A rash of data thefts involving high-profile government agencies could have IT managers everywhere revamping their policies on removable data storage devices and laptops. And not a moment too soon, sources say.

The watershed event came in May, when an HP Pavilion Notebook Laptop and accompanying HP External Personal Media Drive containing sensitive data on 26.5 million veterans was stolen from the home of a U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs employee. (See VA Reports Massive Data Theft.)

This and other snafus have IT managers questioning policies on portable data. In many instances, organizations are doing some major soul-searching.

In a recent user survey by sister publication Dark Reading, 61 percent of 229 security professionals reported they either haven't got a policy for protecting removable storage devices, or their organizations were vulnerable because their policy was unenforceable. (See No Wires & No Policies and The Portable Puzzle.)

But a report from market research firm Input suggests that high-profile laptop losses are making it more urgent for companies to find answers. According to Input analyst and former government agency CIO Bruce Brody, spending on IT equipment, including security and storage gear, is expected to rise in the wake of the VA theft.

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