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Computrace Australia outlines 10-step approach to laptop security

  • 05 September, 2006 11:10

<p>With laptop computer theft running at high levels, Computrace Australia has announced a 10-step plan to improve security.</p>
<p>Seven out of 10 organisations had laptops stolen during the past 12 months, according to AusCERT’s 2006 Australian Computer Crime &amp; Security Survey. Advice from Computrace Australia follows, on best practices to help reduce such losses by protecting data on mobile assets:</p>
<p>1. Understand the risks. As organisations open up their networks to their mobile work force, to partners, customers and others, they expose themselves to greater security risks than they encountered when traffic was mostly internal.</p>
<p>2. Be proactive. If you cannot identify the weaknesses in your network’s
security, someone or something will find those vulnerabilities for you. Educate yourself on the tools and techniques used today by cyber criminals as well as other security risks. Data security is a moving target that requires ongoing attention.</p>
<p>3. Use cable locks on laptops as visual deterrents. Truth be told, most cable locks can be ripped off the plastic exterior of a laptop with a strong tug. Cable locks are therefore akin to ink-filled garment security tags in clothing stores: they leave a mark when removed by force, but are ineffective at preventing many thefts.</p>
<p>4. Avoid leaving unsecured notebooks unattended. Lock them in cup- boards, notebook carts or other secure facilities when not in use. If they must be left in a vehicle, they should be covered up or locked in the trunk.</p>
<p>5. Keep laptops inconspicuous. Laptops should be carried in inconspicuous carrying cases, such as backpacks or tote bags, instead of tell-tale laptop bags.</p>
<p>6. Install anti-virus software and firewalls. Prevent unauthorised access and protect valuable information with data encryption software. Keep all software products updated to the latest versions or patches to help minimise security holes. Ensure web servers, operating systems and line of business applications are fully patched.</p>
<p>7. Back-up valuable data on a scheduled basis. Data back-up needs to happen frequently to minimise the risk to the organisation in the event of loss.</p>
<p>8. Create a contingency plan. Identify possible damage should a breach in security occur; also consider how customers would be served in the event of catastrophe. Contingency plans for security should be integrated with the organization’s overall disaster recovery plans.</p>
<p>9. Use asset tracking and recovery software. Install an asset tracking and recovery tool such as ComputraceComplete to track and recover computers that are lost or stolen, and monitor any changes or disappearances in computer memory, hard drives or peripherals.</p>
<p>10. Invest in advanced data protection. Computrace Data Protection allows customers to track fixed, remote and mobile computer assets and remotely wipe sensitive information in the event that a computer is lost, stolen or nearing the end of its lifecycle.</p>
<p>“Security and tracking software has a key role to play in reducing theft,” says Bruce Tweedie, CEO of Computrace Australia. “The AusCERT figures on laptop theft and corporate losses contrast with the minimal losses among enterprises that protect their assets with laptop security and tracking software. Over the past two years, only one-in-500 laptops protected by Computrace has been stolen.”</p>
<p>Computrace-protected laptops send a daily signal to the company's central data centre. This can tracks the computer's IP address and serial number. When a computer is reported stolen, Computrace asks the machine to signal a central data centre every 15 minutes. When the machine logs on to the Internet, Computrace identifies it and gives information to police to help recover the computer.</p>
<p>Computrace Australia recently announced a new Recovery Warranty of up to $1,000 (subject to conditions), payable if a stolen computer cannot be recovered within 60 days.</p>
<p>Dell, Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard and other original equipment manufacturers embed Computrace in the BIOS of their machines, effectively making it tamper-proof for those models. Computrace can be part of a bundle when a laptop is purchased, or bought separately.</p>
<p>About Computrace Australia</p>
<p>Computrace Australia distributes technology products for the Australian corporate and government markets, including laptop security and tracking software that deters laptop theft and recovers stolen computers. The technology also provides software inventory, PC inventory, PC audits, IT asset tracking, software licence management and data protection solutions and service.</p>
<p>Computrace is the global leader in Computer Theft Recovery and Secure Asset Tracking™ with more than 700,000 subscriptions under management. Absolute’s uniquely patented Computrace® technology is optimised for remote and mobile users. Computrace provides organisations with simple and cost effective solutions to help track their computing assets, deter computer loss, and reduce incurred liability costs.</p>
<p>For more information</p>
<p>Bruce Tweedie
Computrace Australia
Tel: 0411-888 136
email: bruce.tweedie@tomora.com.au</p>
<p>David Frost
PR Deadlines Pty Ltd
Tel: (02) 4341 5021
email: davidf@prdeadlines.com.au</p>

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