Calling lost laptops: Please phone home
Try as he may to secure telecommuters' systems, Gerry Cullen, director of special projects at Detroit Diesel-Allison BC Ltd., in Vancouver, British Columbia, knows there's only so much he can do to keep corporate secrets from walking away when a company lTry as he may to secure telecommuters systems, Gerry Cullen, director of special projects at Detroit Diesel-Allison BC Ltd., in Vancouver, British Columbia, knows theres only so much he can do to keep corporate secrets from walking away when a company laptop PC is stolen. Forget hackers. IT managers like Cullen are becoming increasingly concerned about physical security. And with good reason. A survey by the Computer Security Institute and the FBI showed that among 273 companies surveyed, laptop theft resulted in losses totaling $10.4 million last year. As the use of personal digital assistants and cell phones takes off and portable computing becomes prevalent, the theft of these devices will increase, experts say.
Thats why smart IT managers are taking advantage of tools that help them recover laptops. Products such as Network Ice Corp.s BlackIce Defender, for example, try to phone home by connecting to the corporate network when a thief goes online. Computer Sentry Software Inc.s CyberAngel and Absolute Software Corp.s CompuTrace place calls to a laptops manufacturer when it is stolen, updating owners about phone numbers the machine is using.