More than 600,000 laptops are stolen every year, allowing $5.4 billion worth of proprietary information to end up in the hands of others. The number of laptops in the workforce is growing at a steady rate due to their portability and flexibility. This makes them easy targets for thieves. Protecting sensitive data is more important now than ever, because of possible litigation over lost data.
Here are 10 tips that will help you institute a layer approach to security for your laptop:
1. Understand the risks involved in making your network available to partners, customers and a mobile workforce. The security risk is greater than if your users are all internal.
2. Be proactive. Educate yourself with the protection tools available to you. If there is a weakness someone will find it. Vulnerability is always changing and needs constant attention.
3. Use cable locks. Even though they do not prevent theft. You will be able to tell when they have been forcibly removed.
4. Do not leave unattended laptops unattended. Lock them in a secure place. If they are in a car without a trunk, make sure it is out of site.
5. Try to avoid carrying laptops in cases that are obvious laptop cases. Tote bags or backpacks are a good alternative.
6. Install encryption solutions, antivirus software and firewalls. Keep all sensitive and valuable information protected with encryption. Make sure all your patches and updates are current to ensure that there are no security weaknesses.
7. Schedule regular data backups. Make sure that all your data is backed up regularly to prevent any data loss.
8. Have a backup plan. Hurricane Katrina made many companies wish they had planned better for a catastrophic event. Would you be able to run your business in the event of a disaster? Develop a plan to ensure that you can.
9. Use asset tracking and recovery software. If you have asset recovery tools in place the chances of recovering a missing laptop are about 10 times better than if the computer does not have the equipment.
10. Invest in advance data protection. This software allows customers to track fixed, remote and mobile computer assets and remotely swipe sensitive information in the event that a computer is lost, stolen and near the end of its life cycle.
One of the most important things is to understand your limitations when it comes to security. 70% of all security breaches are from internal sources. There is only so much you can do to keep information from people who have the password. Data security is very important in today’s society and it is necessary to great lengths to protect your data and that of your customers.