Mobile devices, especially laptops are vulnerable. They can be lost, stolen or damaged with ease. Securing laptop data is, therefore, an overriding concern for enterprises that have a large mobile workforce that generates huge amounts of data on their laptops. Following a few simple procedures and rules will ensure that data on the laptop is never lost or compromised.
To begin with, laptops must be secured with primary laptop security protocols. Primary security for laptops includes password protection, encryption of the hard drive and installation of anti-virus software to prevent malware, adware infections to the system.
Human errors can cause data destruction. Continuous data protection should be enabled by backing up mission-critical data continuously on to a second removable drive, and to another partition on the laptop itself for added security. The removable media should be stored separately from the laptop to prevent loss of the drive and the laptop simultaneously.
Regular backup of laptop to an online repository belonging to the enterprise must be mandated. The backup alert should be automatically generated the moment the laptop is connected to the Internet. Small client based software should be installed on the laptop and the laptop owner should be empowered to access and upload data to the online data repository using the client interface. The user id and the password for accessing the online data repository for upload or download of the data should not be stored on the laptop itself. It should be written down and secured, separately from the laptop or its case.
A “download on need” policy should be enforced on laptops and laptop users. Laptops should not contain data that is not relevant to the task on hand. Laptop users must be educated and trained to download and hold only data that is immediately relevant to the work that they must execute at a remote location. All other data should be deleted / removed from the laptop. Laptop cleaning should be undertaken as a matter or routine every time the laptop is returned to the company after a field trip.
Continuously protecting laptops and recovering business critical information into enterprise storage repositories regularly is no longer an option. Increasingly, mobile workforces have made securing laptop data a mission-critical task for the enterprise.