Corporate and personal data at risk with 67,000 phones expected to go missing at Olympics

You can bank on tech circles to dig out the negatives from a sporting extravaganza that has the rest of the world swept up in child-like excitement.

Don’t worry, we’re thoroughly enjoying the London Olympics, but from a tech perspective we've already had incidents drawing less positive headlines - largely owing to Twitter antics. We’ve had hateful tweets, angry tweets, racist tweets and too many tweets reported in the past week, alongside concerns over the capital’s ability to manage the technological strain brought by the Games.

And now we have security experts compounding the dark side of the Olympics, with their prediction that up to 67,000 phones will be lost or stolen in London over the next two weeks. As around 40 per cent of our mobile devices are now smartphones, this puts a great deal of private data at risk, says enterprise firm Venafi.

Researchers at the company say this equates to an estimated 214.4 TB of potentially sensitive data going missing – an equivalent of 200 million books’ worth of information.

The smartphone boom leads Venafi to claim London 2012 will see the largest-ever risk of corporate and personal data loss during an Olympics period, and though some of the report’s statements seem a little contrived to bring about some Olympic-themed security scare-mongering, the overall sentiment is valid.

Smartphone ownership and the advent of BYOD means personal details and business data are often sitting rather precariously in our pockets, making us vulnerable in busy places at busy times.

“There’s been an explosion of corporate data available to users from their mobile devices. This is a real danger and one that is often overlooked,” said Gregory Webb, Venafi Vice President of Marketing.

“People don’t consider or take action to protect the vast volumes of information they carry and have internet access to. 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[s]...business data at tremendous risk.”

So take care around the capital over the coming days and make sure that phone is suitably secure. For advice on mobile security, check out this guide of the top mobile security apps.