Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has disclosed that several laptops were stolen from their office. The disclosure was posted on the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website and can be viewed here. The physical theft of unencrypted laptops is on of the most common and easy preventable claims scenarios facing startups and their funders. A simple Windows/Mac/iOS/Linux/Droid password does not prevent files from physically being removed from a device, the disc itself must be encrypted.
The NH letter demonstrates the knowledge required to respond to a theft of personally identifiable data. In most states employees, vendors or consumers must be notified with birthdays, social security numbers or credit card data could have been compromised. Generally, compromised includes the possibility of someone viewing the data – which includes losing an unencrypted device.
The bigger threat, which is often ignored, is the potential liability from losing confidential business information for a portfolio company or former applicant. If the law considers the potential viewing of personally identifiable information as a breach the same standard will likely be held in cases involving trade secrets. If a pre-launch startup were able to prove it’s confidential business plan had been lost the damages could be catastrophic.
InsuranceForStartups.com is helping startup tech companies and their VC investors protect themselves in the face of increasing regulations and liability, contact an expert broker today to discuss ways to better protect your organization.