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The emerging and constantly evolving world of the mobile workforce requires more than just adequate security policies. Information security is a threat that every company must take seriously. This is even more relevant today with new, stricter governance policies and legal requirements.

A security policy alone is no longer good enough to address management’s duty to protect the organisation from risk, especially where valuable data, which was once hidden behind closed doors, is now moving around via an ever-growing mobile workforce.

J2 Software managing director John Mc Loughlin warns that valuable business information is fast becoming an irresistible temptation for thieves. The laptop itself is not the issue, but the disruption to business and the risk to customer information, employee records or sensitive company data is far worse.‚

In an effort to reduce the disruption to business that results when mobile working tools are stolen, serious consideration should be given to new and innovative security tools. Minimising the risk of laptop theft should not only be the concern of the IT manager but also every employee entrusted with mobile computing equipment.

IDC research shows that 92% of SMEs with mobile workers have experienced laptop theft. The average incident in an SME occurs once every 251 days and 54% of SMEs have experienced a laptop theft in the past six months. Laptop theft occurs in a wide range of places, with public transport and hotels being particularly susceptible. The workplace is not immune from theft either, with 26% of IT managers suspecting internal involvement in the theft of laptops and just 35% of office-based theft being the result of a break in. Walk-in theft is almost as likely with 31% of IT managers having experienced it.

Mc Loughlin says the laptop security market has a wide choice of products, from the tried and tested cable locks through to innovative Internet tracking services. However, this does not solve the real issue at hand – data theft. J2 Software has introduced a solution that protects computers and laptops from unauthorised access and also offers free global theft cover.‚

The T3 SecurityKey is a security device that ensures instant lockdown, data encryption and covers one against theft, anywhere in the world. It ensures that unauthorised users cannot access a PC or laptop to view, copy or modify confidential information. With passwords not being a real deterrent, a simple solution such as the T3 SecurityKey adds another layer of protection to keep the unwanted users at bay.

More importantly, companies should be aware that employees are increasingly stealing data and selling it for self gain. There is an increasing threat of confidential data being removed from the network through the use of removable media devices such as cellular phones, USB flash drives, removable hard disks, PDAs and MP3 players. Many organisations want simple tools to protect the network against security risks and data theft, but they don’t realise what is happening with their information outside the building, he explains.

While most companies do not have the tools to monitor users on the network, it has become critical that access to information is managed and that users are held accountable for their actions. With users being able to access the Internet, send and receive e -mail and browse the local network, often in an unstructured manner, it is crucial that employees are effectively monitored and kept productive without interfering with their usual work patterns.

Very little consideration has been given to providing solid management systems to ensure that the investment in technology delivers maximum benefit. It is extremely important that executives take corrective steps and ensure there are preventative measures in place for this, he explains.

He says many organisations are now looking for solutions to cover the obvious gaps in their approach to information security. The changing requirements of information security are evolving rapidly and these organisations need to find comprehensive, simple-to-use solutions – based on a whole new set of emerging challenges and threats.‚

SystemSkan is a total user management tool that provides managers with the ability to view and record every user’s actions on the computer network, including Internet and outgoing email attachments. It is used to identify security risks within an organisation, and provides policy enforcement tools to minimise these risks.

It assists in setting the appropriate policy and provides enforcement tools to protect company information. Furthermore, it will greatly increase the efficiency of network management and reduce the cost of administration services within the workplace.

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