Thursday, June 22, 2006

Laptop Security

Based on CSI/FBI Computer Crime Survey on 2005, we can conclude that stolen laptops case were increasing since laptops is easier to be stollen since it has smaller dimension and can be carried with a bag. Other thing that became one of the factor is that laptops usage is now common in most countries, including Indonesia. I have seen many people are working with their laptops, even they are in a mall. Companies have started to use laptops instead of desktop, since it can be used when you are travelling outside, so you can still work outside the office.

Since laptops have started to replace desktops, it's common to put all your data in your laptops. The problem is when your laptop get stollen. Other people will have access on your laptop, including your personal data or even worse, your company's data. One simple way to prevent access to it is by giving some password on different levels. You can start by giving password in BIOS or in the operating system itself (by making local accounts with strong passwords). For more paranoid people, you can start using third party software which encrypt some folders on your system (in Windows platform. I don't know in GNU/Linux), such as Folder Guard or Folder Lock. This way, the thief will have to pass several test first before they can view the data itself (even though it can be passed easily by using some Linux LiveCD distro, such as Knoppix or Ubuntu by mounting them in differnt laptop or desktop).

If you are trully paranoid, you can try using LoJack from Absolute. It can track your laptops and if your laptop isn't recovered within 30 days of you reporting it stolen, they will refund your purchase of Computrace LoJack for Laptops. You can also see their nice presentations. Unfortunately, this service requires that the laptop gets connected to the Internet before the data is being sent to the central data.

One conclusion about security is that there will never be 100% security. We can only try our best to prevent it.