Effectiveness of physical, social and digital mechanisms against laptop theft in open organizations

T. Dimkov, Wolter Pieters, Pieter H. Hartel

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)
    219 Downloads (Pure)


    Organizations rely on physical, digital and social mechanisms to protect their IT systems. Of all IT systems, laptops are probably the most troublesome to protect, since they are easy to remove and conceal. When the thief has physical possession of the laptop, it is also difficult to protect the data inside. In this study, we look at the effectiveness of the security mechanisms against laptop theft in two universities. The study considers the physical and social protection of the laptops. We analyze the logs from laptop thefts in both universities and complement the results with penetration tests. The results from the study show that the effectiveness of security mechanisms from the physical domain is limited, and it depends mostly from the social domain. The study serves as a motivation to further investigate the analysis of the alignment of the mechanisms across all three security domains to protect the IT assets in an organization.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Cyber, Physical and Social Computing (CPSCom 2010)
    Place of PublicationUSA
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4244-9779-9
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
    Event3rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Cyber, Physical and Social Computing, CPSCom 2010 - Hangzhou, China
    Duration: 18 Dec 201020 Dec 2010
    Conference number: 3

    Publication series

    PublisherIEEE Computer Society


    Conference3rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Cyber, Physical and Social Computing, CPSCom 2010
    Abbreviated titleCPSCom 2010


    • METIS-271109
    • Case Study
    • IR-74289
    • Laptop theft
    • SCS-Cybersecurity
    • physical security
    • EWI-18721
    • Social Engineering
    • digital security

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