How Much is Your Business Reputation Worth to You?

December 2, 2009

The March 11 Buffalo News reported that HealthNow had informed 40,000 members that they were at risk of identity theft; their private data, stored on a company laptop computer, had gone missing.

October 15, The Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune reported the theft of a laptop belonging to an employee of an insurance trade group had put hundreds of thousands of physicians around the country at risk of identity theft. The laptop, belonging to an employee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, was stolen from a car in late August and contained a database listing the business and personal information of about 800,000 doctors.

But this couldn’t happen to your company ... right? Wrong, with one in five laptops stolen each year, it can happen to you.

Maybe you don’t have thousands of clients but you might have 100. Assume for a moment that you lost a laptop that contained just five clients but you had no means to prove that to the authorities; it is very likely that you would be require to notify all 100 of your clients that you have potentially put them at risk of identity theft.

In addition, the state is likely to require that you pay for credit monitoring service for all 100 of your clients. At an average cost of $200 per client, the credit monitoring service alone would cost you $20,000. Now add to that fines, penalties and legal fees and that lost laptop has just cost you $25,000.

After all this, how many of those 100 clients do you think will remain your clients? Statistically, 22% of your clients will leave you and another 23% will seriously consider doing the same.

Now, using the same situation with Laptop Protective Services in use, your company could notify the authorities:

“We had a laptop stolen and we know exactly what files were on the laptop when it went missing. These files contained the information on exactly five customers. The laptop was remotely locked down two hours after the incident was reported. We are confident that no personal information has been exposed however, we will notify the five effected clients and will be providing credit monitoring services to those clients.”

Instead of that lost laptop costing you $25,000 and who knows how many clients, it cost you $1,000 in credit monitoring service.

For additional information on Laptop Protective Services, please visit

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or

North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.