How To Track Down and Protect Stolen Devices

Technology can aid recovery of notebooks and smartphones.

Every day, notebook computers go missing. Whether they’re stolen from a hotel room or an office or accidentally left behind in a taxi or at an airport’s security checkpoint, the result is the same: a lost asset and the potential compromise of sensitive data.

The average organization loses 263 notebook computers per year, according to the results of “The Billion Dollar Lost Laptop Problem” study by Ponemon Institute. Savvy users employ endpoint encryption to protect their data. Of course, the device itself is also of value. Having to replace a computer minimizes user productivity and creates additional administrative burdens for IT staff.

There are several technologies that can help recover lost mobile devices. For example, mobile device management (MDM) software and apps, such as Find My iPhone, enable people to track smartphones and tablets, and remotely wipe them if necessary. Then there’s tracking software. For example, Absolute Software’s LoJack for Laptops and Computrace Complete remain perennial favorites (consult our product review.)

Earlier this month, McAfee announced a partnership with Intel to debut the McAfee Anti-Theft solution that “combines hardware-enabled security with software to keep personal data safe.” Preloaded on Ultrabooks, the McAfee software offers data encryption, anti-tamper features and a stealth mode to track lost or stolen devices.

Intel Anti-Theft Technology is an example of a feature built into the silicon, that when coupled with software and services, better protects the things consumers care most about — identity, data and devices — for a more worry-free computing experience and greater peace of mind right from the start,” says George Thangadurai, general manager of PC client services at Intel. More details about the technology are available in the blog post here.

For more tips on preventing notebook theft, consult “How to Repel Notebook Thieves.”

Sep 27 2012