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Ten tips for ensuring the security of laptops.

InfoSecurity Europe : 08 January, 2008  (Technical Article)
John Livingston, Chairman and CEO of Absolute Software, provides useful advice on the best approach to securing laptops.
1. Understand the risks. As organisations open up their networks to their mobile workforce, partners, customers and others, they expose themselves to greater security risks than when traffic was mostly internal.

2. Be proactive. If you cannot identify the weaknesses in your network's security, someone or something will exploit those vulnerabilities. Educate yourself on current security risks, including the tools and techniques used by cyber criminals. Data security is a moving target that requires ongoing attention.

3. Use cable locks on laptops as visual deterrents. Most cable locks can be ripped off the plastic exterior of a laptop with a strong tug. Like ink-filled garment security tags in clothing stores, cable locks leave a mark when removed by force, but are ineffective at preventing many thefts.

4. Avoid leaving unsecured notebooks unattended. Lock them in cupboards, 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 boot of your car.

5. Keep laptops inconspicuous. Laptops should be carried in inconspicuous carrying cases, such as backpacks or tote bags, instead of telltale laptop bags.

6. Install anti-virus software, encryption and firewalls. Prevent unauthorised access and protect valuable information with data encryption software. Keep all software products updated with the latest versions or patches to help minimise security holes. Ensure web servers, operating systems and line of business applications are fully patched.

7. Back up valuable data on a scheduled basis. Data backup needs to happen frequently to minimise the risk to the organisation in the event of loss.

8. Create a contingency plan. Identify possible damage should a breach in security occur; also consider how to serve stakeholders in the event of catastrophe. Contingency plans for security should be integrated with overall disaster recovery plans.

9. Use asset tracking and recovery software. Install an asset tracking and recovery tool such as Absolute Software's Computrace®One™ to track and recover computers that are lost or stolen, and monitor any changes or disappearances in computer memory, hard drives or peripherals.

10. Invest in advanced data protection. Use ComputraceOne 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.

Absolute Software is exhibiting at Infosecurity Europe 2008, Europe's number one dedicated Information security event. Now in its 13th year, the show continues to provide an unrivalled education programme, new products & services, over 300 exhibitors and 11,700 visitors from every segment of the industry. Held on the 22nd - 24th April 2008 in the Grand Hall, Olympia, this is a must attend event for all professionals involved in Information Security.
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