Iron Mountain DataDefense Protects Lost Laptops

The security service allows users to shut down or wipe the data on stolen PCs that connect to the Internet.

Iron Mountain on Monday announced its new DataDefense service, which enables customers to control data elimination or lock down all files on stolen PCs and laptops via an online interface.

The rules-based service features triggers that allow an enterprise to recognize if a laptop or PC has been stolen or is missing. It can be used to order the computer to shut down the operating system each time it tries to connect with the Internet.

Currently available either as a subscription-based server offering hosted by Iron Mountain or as licensed software run from an organizations own data center, DataDefense is powered by agents that can detect when an unaccounted-for Iron Mountain-encrypted laptop or PC appears online.

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At that point a user can decide to repeatedly power down the machine or delete and overwrite every file, document, PowerPoint presentation or folder it holds, according to Stephen Roll, product manager for Data Protection at Boston-based Iron Mountain.

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A time-sensitive "Out Of Contact" rule can be set to instruct the device to lock itself out if its out of contact with its designated enterprise server, whether it has been an hour, day, week or month. The service also features a "Password Hacking" rule to set the amount of times a password can be tried before the data is destroyed.

/zimages/2/28571.gifIron Mountain to buy LiveVault. Read more here.

If customers wishes to re-create the data that has been eliminated or shut out if the laptop or PC is recovered, they can access Iron Mountains Data Protection Server service, which constantly backs up all customer data over the Web to an Iron Mountain secure vault repository for retrieval. Iron Mountains DataDefense service is based on technology developed by Beachhead Solutions.

Jon Oltsik, senior analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group, based in Milford, Mass., said his storage research firm has conducted studies showing that many organizations are "very poor" at securing their own data, the biggest risk being portable devices such as laptops.

"What I like about [DataDefense] is its protecting against the loss of data, theft of a file, or losing a whole laptop. And its a service, so it doesnt matter if youre Fidelity [Brokerage Services] or Joes Pizza Shop, you can buy this as a service and provide that capability," Oltsik said.

"This is a classic example of something that should be outsourced, but because of security professionals and trust [issues] they dont do it as much as they should, but I think thats changing," he said.

The cost of Iron Mountains DataDefense is charged per seat license or per agent on a PC or laptop. Pricing begins at about $12.00 per seat per month.

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