There are 12,000 or so laptops found in US airports each week and 62,000 lost electronic devices recovered from New York’s metropolitan buses, taxis, trains, and stations each year! The bottom line is no matter how careful you are with your laptop, mistakes occur and losing a laptop (or having one stolen) is likely to happen to you or your employees at some point in time.
What if You Just Discovered That You or One Of Your Employees Had Their Laptop Stolen… What Do You Do now?
In the hands of a hacker, all of your laptop information can be siphoned off, allowing an open back door into your network. This is akin to giving a thief the key to your office and the code to deactivate the alarm. Imagine the hit your reputation would take when you must contact all of your clients to let them know their sensitive and confidential information may be compromised because one of your unsecured laptops is in the hands of a cybercriminal…
What to do right away if laptop loss or theft took place
Anytime you have been a victim of a crime, report incident to the police immediately.When the police report is ready, contact your insurance carrier to inform them about the stolen device. If the report was not filed, insurance would not accept your claim; in addition, if your laptop is to be found, police would not be able to return your device to you without the report.
- If your work computer was taken while at a public location, such as an airport, bus, coffee shop, gas station, library, taxi cab, etc., report the incident to the authorities, your organization’s management, and the police.
- If you believe someone at work has stolen your property, such as a laptop, immediately contact Human Resources, IT, or someone with authority, especially If your laptop contained organization’s confidential information, including client data.
- Log into any financial sensitive accounts and change your password, regardless of that information being saved on your computer or not.
- Contact your IT and change your email password IMMEDIATELY – thieves may try to use “forgot password” feature and the password reset link will be sent to your email – which is most likely now accessible via your laptop; it may enable thieves to log into your banking institution’s dashboards and gain access to your money.
- Contact your laptop manufacturer and your IT company so they can make a note in their database that the computer has been stolen, in case the thief tries calling support.
- Visit the free Stolen Computer Registry here: http://www.stolencomputers.org/ When a computer is stolen, the make, model and a serial number of the computer are entered into the REGISTRY’s relational database linked to information on the rightful owner and reporting agency. Buyers, resellers, insurers, law enforcement, and security professionals check suspicious computers against this list. When stolen equipment is located, the REGISTRY supplies information and assists in recovery and return of property to the rightful owners.
Note: clients on our psDemandIT plan will get immediate support for situations like this. We suggest calling us immediately to report the loss. The sooner we know, the sooner we can take preventative actions to lock that laptop out of the network. A blame culture where people are afraid to report losses is actually much worse for security.
We specialize in securing business data like yours
and making sure it is available whenever you need it.
Give us a call at (201) 493-1414 x 311 to discuss options
and how to make your business network more secure.
3 steps to protect your data on a laptop
Asking employees to be more careful about where they keep their laptop IS a good step in the right direction, but accidents happen and thieves are always on the prowl. That’s why it’s so important to take measures to lock down and secure any mobile devices you and your staff use to access your company’s network. Here are just a few things:
- Encrypt All Data
Drive encryption software such as BitLocker (which is included in some versions of Microsoft Windows Vista) can secure all the data on your hard drive. Also, check your computer to see if it has a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip which is generally more secure than those without TPM.
- Implement Multi-Level Access Security
Don’t rely only on passwords to keep your laptop safe. Hackers can usually break most passwords in a few hours. We recommend adding a second way for people to prove that they are who they say they are BEFORE they are able to log in. Some people use smart cards to do this, but fingerprint pads are gaining in popularity.
- Always Log / Back-Up Information
It’s critical to log and back-up all information on business laptops to ensure smooth operations in the event of loss or destruction. We can automate the backups so they are done ON SCHEDULE and in a way that won’t interfere with the use of the laptop.
Take the time NOW to secure your laptop and limit the damage to your business if it happens.