Saturday, February 16, 2008

Treat a laptop like a $2000 bill

Most large corporations are now sufficiently aware of the dangers of losing corporate laptops (especially the data stored on them) that they employ security measures to help protect them from theft. But many smaller companies have yet to address this issue. Even if employees are informed and prudent enough to do what's necessary to protect the laptop and the data stored within, logic often flies right out the window come repair time. If you aren't fortunate enough to have your own IT repair staff, you'll be depending on outsourced services to do that task, perhaps even the original vendor that sold the laptop. But therein lies the problem. Do you trust them to pay the same due diligence while the laptop is in their possession as you would when it's in yours? Here's a story of a woman who sent her laptop in for repair at Best Buy and they 'lost it'. They even tried to cover up the fact. She's suing for $54 million, but that's not going to stop things like this from happening again.

What can you do? If possible, get any sensitive data moved onto another drive before sending a laptop in for repair. While the laptop is working, use strong encryption methods to protect the folders on the drive that you can't afford to be compromised. Using hard drive level protection may not work because you do have to give the password to the repair service folks. Consider using repair services that do their work on-site. This way, you can watch their every move and the laptop never leaves your possession.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Three words: External Hard Drives.