The biggest winners at the London Olympics could be thieves and smartphone manufacturers, as security experts predict that 67,000 mobiles will be either stolen or lost during the Games.

With smartphones such as the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S3 costing hundreds of pounds pickpockets and muggers should see the Olympics as a potential goldmine.

The risk isn’t just the cost of the smartphone. Security analysts at Venafi warn that an estimated 214.4 terabytes of potentially sensitive data likely will be lost or stolen – the equivalent of 200 million books’ worth of data.  

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A staggering 50,000 mobile phones are lost or stolen in the London area over any two-week period, says Venafi. In December 2010, 20,000 mobiles were lost or stolen every day in the UK.

During the Olympics, the population in London is expected to swell by a third, with an extra million people using the tube every day – leading to a potential additional 17,000 lost or stolen phones, bringing the possible total to 67,000 during the two-week period.

As 40 percent of all mobile devices are smartphones the estimated tally of lost smartphones is around 26,800. Not counted in these estimates are laptops and tablets – a fair few of which are also likely to be nicked or mislaid.

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London olympics smartphone stolen

 “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 companies and business data at tremendous risk.”

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