Magazine article Information Management

Encrypt Corporate Laptops, Experts Warn

Magazine article Information Management

Encrypt Corporate Laptops, Experts Warn

Article excerpt

Since June 2005, there have been at least 29 high-profile cases of misplaced or stolen laptops with data such as Social Security numbers, health records, and addresses of millions of people, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a San Diego-based nonprofit that tracks data thefts.

However, protecting even the most sensitive information stored on laptops is not difficult with encryption technology. Encrypting the data renders it nearly impossible to access without the proper credentials, security experts say, and companies should not let laptops leave the premises without being encrypted.

"It is shocking how many of these are stolen laptops and the fact that the users of the laptops did not use encryption to secure the data," Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, said of recent data losses.

In most cases, the laptop itself, not the personal information on it, was the likely target of the theft. But there's almost no excuse for not following proper procedures to keep sensitive information stored on laptops safe.

The portable computers are usually protected by passwords needed to boot them up, but the data on their drives are still accessible. …

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