Let’s Get Physical

Small businesses have been warned not to lose sight of the physical security of their laptop computers in the rush to safeguard their IT assets from attacks on the network and over the internet.

Statistics reveal that 2,000 laptops are stolen every day in Europe and a survey of small and medium sized businesses across Europe by IDC last year found a staggering 94 per cent had suffered from notebooks being stolen.

There are a number of products available that can be used to enhance your laptop security, including biometric logon devices and physical locks designed to protect laptops from physical theft.

A lot of emphasis has been placed on protecting your network from attacks but very few were taking steps to ensure that laptops could not be stolen, or hacked into following a theft.

Many people think that it’s not a big deal to replace a notebook that costs £500, but some statistics suggest the cost of replacing a stolen laptop could be as high as £8,000 when you take into account the value of the data on the machine and the time taken to replace and reconfigure it. A survey conducted last year found 49% of SMEs took longer than two days to replace a stolen laptop and a significant number took more than a week to do so.

Often, laptop locks are the first line of defence to stop opportunistic theft of portable computers. This combined with a biometric lock can prevent even the most hardy criminal from targeting your property. With the cost of providing some level of physical protection to your laptop being around the £30 mark, there now seems little reason not to implement some level of external security device to protect your laptop.

Under new airport security measures, users may not be allowed to carry their laptops onto the plane. If you have to place your laptop in a suitcase, we recommend that:

  1. If you have a security cable, you should anchor it from your laptop lock to an interior strap or handle casing behind the clothing compartment in a wheeled suitcase;
  2. If you own a strong notebook case, anchor the security cable to the grip handles; Buy a notebook sleeve to protect your laptop inside your checked luggage;
  3. Do not leave your laptop exposed in full view in your car, the airport, or any public space without locking it down to an immovable object;
  4. If you have a biometric laptop security device, store it seperately from your laptop.

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