• United States



by CSO Staff

Alarming News

Jul 01, 20043 mins
Data and Information SecurityLaptopsSecurity

Technologies that can help save your company's laptops and data.

 Cable Locks

Makers: Anchor Pad, Kensington, Kryptonite, others

Cost: $30-$70

Pro: Stops petty theft

Con: Inconvenient
Cable locks are about as simple as it gets. Think basic bicycle locks for your laptop. The idea here is you chain it to your desk so that while you’re in the bathroom or grabbing a cup of coffee, no one can walk off with it.
 Motion Alarms

Makers: Caveo, TrackIt

Cost: $50-$100

Pro: Could deter thieves

Cons: Alarm could trigger accidentally, limited range
Wouldn’t it be nice if your laptop could holler “Stop! Thief!”? In effect, that’s what motion alarms do. If your laptop is vulnerable, the alarm goes off, and presumably thieves aren’t going to want to carry around a shrieking notebook
 Tracking Devices

Makers: Computrace, CyberAngel, Stealth Signal, others

Cost: $20-$60 (Computrace and CyberAngel also have yearly fees)

Pro: Some versions delete data

Cons: Varying police cooperation, requires perp to connect to Net
Think LoJack for your laptop. Tracking devices secretly send a message whenever the computer is logged on to the Internet, allowing it to be tracked and recovered. Some also are set up to delete the data on the machine once it’s plugged in, which can offer some protection.

Makers: Various

Cost: Varies

Pro: Protects most data

Cons: Inconvenient, potential for lost passwords
Hard drives with encryption software use algorithms to take stored files and make sure they can be read only by those who have the key. There are a variety of ways to implement encryption schemes on a laptop; IBM has even built an algorithm into a chip in its laptops. Encryption is also getting easier to use, addressing a longstanding issue with the software.
 Fingerprint Biometrics

Maker: Targus

Cost: $80

Pro: Simple concept

Con: Unreliable
Let your fingers do the talking, at least as far as getting at your data is concerned. Fingerprint biometrics made by Targus is offered as an option by Gateway and others.

Makers: Authenex A-Key, SecuriKey, others

Cost: $15-$129

Pro: Can’t forget password

Cons: People lose their keys, have to remember to keep it with you
Just like having an ignition key for your computer. A token is a USB-device that’s small enough to fit onto a key chain, and stores authentication data. Without it, no one can access files on your computer. Some devices offer more security features as well.
 Motion-Activated Encryption

Makers: Caveo, Targus

Cost: $50-$100

Pros: Prohibits access, encrypts data

Con: Could go off at wrong time
This motion alarm does more than just sound an alarm; it automatically encrypts data and prevents access to the screen if it believes a laptop has been stolen.
 Remote Data Wiping

Makers: Computrace, CoreStreet

Cost: $50-$80

Pro: Prevents damage from employee theft

Con: Not widely used, so battle testing is needed
Remote data wiping devices vary, but in general they work by sending messages that either vaporize the contents of a hard drive or lock them so that they can’t be read. They can depend on someone reconnecting to the Internet, but in the case of CoreStreet’s device, it’s designed to disable the laptop after a certain period even if it is never reconnected.