One London-based IT security firm is using the Olympics to remind businesses just how easy it is for company data to fall in the hands of the wrong people.

Based on data that shows 50,000 mobile phones are lost or stolen in London over any two-week period, security experts at Venafi anticipate that with the population in the city set to surge by more than a third over the next few weeks, an estimated 67,000 cellphones are expected to go missing during the London Olympics.

According to Venafi, that translates into a total of 214.4 terabytes of critical data — or the equivalent of 214.4 million books — that will likely end up in the wrong hands during the Olympic Games. The damage could be even greater when lost and stolen laptops and tablets are taken into consideration.

"People don’t consider or take action to protect the vast volumes of information they carry and have Internet access to," said Gregory Webb, vice president of marketing for Venafi." 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."

Venafi encourages businesses with employees who can access corporate information, systems and applications remotely from mobile devices to have sound policies and device management systems in place.

To help reduce mobile-access risks, Venafi also recommends that companies leverage encryption and digital certificates to ensure proper authentication and data protection.

"There’s been an explosion of corporate data available to users from their mobile devices," Webb said. "This is a real danger and one that is often overlooked."

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