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Keep your laptops secure

February 1, 2018

Keep your laptops secure

Laptops are more popular than desktops, and it’s not hard to see why. Equally usable at your desk or on the move, modern laptops combine computing power, convenience, and portability. The downside is that they’re easy to steal or lose, which is embarrassing, inconvenient, and possibly quite expensive, especially if they hold business or work-related information.

Fortunately for the IT manager, tools and capabilities to keep mobile data safe have grown in strength to keep up with the demand—assuming, of course, that you choose and deploy them correctly.

THEFT PREVENTION

The best option is for your laptops never to go missing. There are some simple security steps that all users can take, like keeping your laptop with you, tagging or engraving it, and storing it securely.

In fact, one of the other frequently ignored security laptop features is one of the simplest: the laptop lock port. This is a small slot in either a side or the rear of the computer that allows it to be attached by a cable to something solid and heavy to make physical theft more difficult.

PROTECT YOUR HARDWARE

The current generation of laptop CPUs has features that help secure the systems, eliminating possibilities for criminals to insert exploits that take effect before the security and anti-intrusion code is activated at boot time.

Another great protection is the ability to track lost devices. Microsoft, Google and Apple all make it possible to track your hardware if needed, and there are also third-party apps offering similar capabilities to other device types.

ENCRYPT EVERYTHING

If a laptop does get stolen, then the next line of defense for your business is to ensure that the thieves can’t get any value from its data. The simplest way to do this is to encrypt everything on the disk.

For encryption to be effective, of course, the information must be available to the authorised user and garbled for everyone else. That’s why authentication is a powerful adjunct to encryption.

TRAIN YOUR USERS

With the contents and physical package of the laptop protected by technology, your attention should turn to the users and the training they’ll receive on best practices for safe mobile computing. And when it comes to that training, there are four words that should be part of the course, no matter what other specifics you employ. The four words? “Do it every time”.

Keeping your laptops and their contents safe isn’t difficult with technology’s help, but it does require consistent application of the right tools. Teach your users well, and you raise the odds that you won’t be on the evening news for your massive data breach.