Monday, October 30, 2006

GPS: A Major Piece of the Laptop Security Puzzle

The past year has witnessed countless, major security breaches involving laptop computers, putting millions of consumers’ identities at risk of theft. I encourage organizations to stave off further portable computer thefts and losses by considering GPS tracking technology for their fleets of laptops.

GPS is the simplest solution for organizations trying to address their laptop computer security concerns. These machines are easy to steal and can go missing anywhere. MyLaptopGPS, an Oklahoma-based company, provides a particularly attractive form of GPS tracking as a service. If the technology is affordable, like MyLaptopGPS’, organizations are remiss not to install it on their entire laptop fleets.

MyLaptopGPS uses proprietary Internet-based GPS, an affordable technology that makes the company’s product of the same name easy to use and preferable to offerings from other GPS providers. MyLaptopGPS™ also installs software that encrypts and silently removes important files from lost laptops—returning these electronic documents to their rightful owners while placing the data out of criminals’ reach.

According to MyLaptopGPS' chief technology officer, “MyLaptopGPS allows responsible and conscientious companies to track stolen laptops. But much more importantly, it allows the rightful owners to ‘push the big red button’ and delete sensitive data from the stolen machine right under the thief’s nose, simultaneously transferring it back to a secure location. This is, by far, the most important consideration.

The past year’s spate of government data breaches recently prompted the House Government Reform Committee to investigate. As reported by CNET News, the committee found each of the government’s 19 agencies reporting at least one loss of data since 2003. Meanwhile, earlier this month the Department of Homeland Security released a report that found laptop computers at its own Inspector General’s Office in many ways unsecured. DHS’s findings followed many months' worth of incidents and worrisome revelations, including those at General Electric Co., the Commerce Department, the Veterans Affairs Department,, Equifax Inc., and elsewhere.

Laptops have always been a target of thieves due to their ease of procurement and resale value. In the past an organization would fret over the monetary loss of the machine. Today, the laptop’s value is equal to the cost of a press release announcing the theft of the machine’s data, plus the hundreds and thousands, if not millions, of dollars the company ends up spending to protect consumers from the theft.


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