Five Reasons Not to Worry About Lost or Stolen Laptops

Being on the end of theft may seem like the end of the world. However, take the necessary steps, and you need not worry

Five Reasons Not to Worry About Lost or Stolen Laptops

As one of the most targeted devices, laptops are often the most at risk of being stolen, and when lost, companies can end up paying considerably. Bearing in mind the amount of personal and confidential data the average user keeps on their laptop, it’s understandable that when a device goes missing, it can leave the owner feeling anxious and concerned that that data might fall into the wrong hands.

However, Phil Evans of Datacastle, a specialist in endpoint backup and data protection, says that if the right precautions are taken towards data security then worrying about lost or stolen laptops will be a thing of the past.

1. Encrypt

One of the most effective ways to keep your personal and confidential data secure is to encrypt it. By adopting this approach, it doesn’t matter if a laptop gets lost or falls into the wrong hands as there is simply no way of accessing the information contained on the device if it is securely encrypted. Although recent research by the Ponemon Institute suggests that only 25% of companies actually use encryption as a method of securing their data. This is quite worrying as it leads them wide open to significant data losses if their devices go missing.

However, for those implementing encryption to secure their data, it needs to be non-intrusive and fast-acting so that it doesn’t interfere with employees’ abilities to work.  If employees find the encryption process to be slowing down their productivity, they will most likely turn it off and leave their data unprotected.

2. Remotely Delete

Even when a laptop is successfully encrypted, it’s always best to have the ability to remotely delete all data from the lost or stolen device. Remote deletion ensures that if encryption is unsuccessful or bypassed, then the data isn’t at risk of being seen or used by unauthorised bodies. It’s also reassuring for the owner of the device to know they have this option if all else fails.

3. Continuous Backup

Similar to the encryption process, data backup should be almost invisible and must be continuous to ensure that if a data restore is required then it is always up-to-date. Alarmingly, the Ponemon Institute found that only 8% of corporate laptops are backed up to a company’s server. This number needs to significantly increase as this data is increasingly at risk of being breached.

Using the cloud is an effective way to store your backups so that they can easily be recalled should the need arise.

4. Auditing

It’s a good idea to ensure that all information stored on a laptop device is audited so that as a company, if a laptop does go missing, you can determine exactly what information is on the device, who has access to this information and what they are doing with it. By implementing this measure, company’s can reduce unnecessary risks by restricting who has access to certain kinds of data.

It is also recommended that this practice is used with USB memory devices as with the advancement of technology, these tiny gadgets can store masses of confidential and sensitive data.

5. Staying Productive

For some, losing a laptop can put a hold on day-to-day work productivity until a new device arrives that all existing data can be restored on. However, more and more companies are beginning to embrace the idea of mobile access.

As more people are starting to travel with smartphones and tablets, it is recommended that employees are able to access backed up data simply through a web browser or over a secure connection.

The total number of mobile devices in the workplace and the number that go missing mean that every company needs to implement the right precautious and plan for the worse. By being prepared and cautious, organisations will no longer need to worry about restricted data falling into the wrong hands.

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