A Brief Word on Asset Management and Laptops

  • Written By: Nergis Mazid
  • Published: May 9 2008

Disconcerting? That's hardly what one feels when losing a laptop, and when it's stolen ... ? 

Lackadaisical, however, seems to be the approach most enterprises take when it comes to safeguarding laptops. The theft of a laptop is devastating to a company, because data is so precious. It's not just a matter of losing trade secrets, which is also a major concern, but a person's name is one of the most important assets she has (remember Tina Turner?). The theft of credit card numbers, SINs, addresses, etc. will shake consumer confidence, because identity theft is rampant, and the Internet is abound with nightmare stories about how individuals have tried to get their names back. Nobody wants to be a victim, and the fallout for a company is huge if it is connected to a security breach.

Asset management is the planning, controlling and monitoring of events concerning company assets. It extends throughout the company or plant and encompasses all phases of asset life cycle management. This ought to extend to laptops, but laptop security is one area that's often overlooked, even by the most meticulous enterprises.

An enterprise can incorporate several policies in their asset management policies to ensure that its laptops are secure. First, it can create and enforce policy on the use of mobile devices, such as what information can be stored on it, encryption tools (and where the encryption key is stored), etc. and enforce it.  Second, it can use tracking devices that allow the laptop to be traced when it accesses the Internet. Third, there can also be a type of "kill switch", where data can be erased when a laptop goes missing. True, most criminals won't know what's on a laptop until they turn it on, but an enterprise cannot risk having a tech-savvy criminal access information.

A lot of companies have sprung up over the years with innovative products to thwart laptop theft. To find out what some enterprises are already doing to safeguard their interests, download Absolute Software’s white paper .
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