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Feeling Exposed?

By Andy Brewerton, Country Manager of EVault in the UK, Ireland & Nordics.

 

Date: 27 Feb 2012

Whether you’re in an airport lounge or home office, consider how data on your laptop or PC is safeguarded, backed-up and if lost, how it can be recovered.

“I asked someone to keep an eye on it…yes, they seemed trustworthy!”

Sound familiar? It easily could, with approximately 800,000 laptops lost or stolen from airports each year; nearly 4,000 each week from Europe's 24 busiest airports. More than half are never recovered. For airport staff it’s just another stolen laptop, but for the victim it’s a high-anxiety situation as they furiously contact bank and credit card and help desks as well as company IT staff to minimise the fallout.

With the continued popularity of mobile computing devices this problem will surely continue.

Analyst organisation IDC, has estimated that as much as 60 percent of company-owned data is kept on laptops or desktops. This situation is only made worse by the fact that 92 per cent of users don’t back data up on a daily basis.

No matter how common it might be, the experience of theft leaves most feeling violated and very quickly, exposed; it most certainly leaves you embarrassed and angry about being so naïve.

Be Data Wise, Not Hardware Foolish
As the popularity of social media has skyrocketed, the notion of personal privacy has plummeted. Perhaps this represents a generational chasm but most of us have already, and quite openly, shared every detail of our professional backgrounds, personal ideas and even where we are at a given time. Even if we weren’t proactively broadcasting these details, so much of our lives can be easily ascertained on the web with a few mouse clicks. While how much we reveal about our personal lives is up to us, information about a company, its clients and partners is not. It therefore cannot and must not be treated in the same way.

Whether on laptops or workstations, mobile workers are increasingly connecting to company files through the cloud. While this has brought about a more empowered workforce, it has also created a need for an evolution in how we treat intellectual property (the data), above and beyond the device on which it resides.

Solutions are emerging, which specifically address cloud security.

I would argue that cloud-orientated endpoint protection is the best of these. By integrating (cloud-oriented) backup, recovery, and data security in one, laptops and desktops spread across a mobile workforce can be protected through features such as local file encryption, remote data deletion, port access control and device tracing (if a laptop is lost or stolen).

There are a few different options for cloud based endpoint protection. The best tools will automatically back data up to the cloud so it can easily be recovered by end users and will offer policy-based centralised administration and self-service management, as opposed to those that repurpose server products. These features are vital for helping IT teams attain a balance between corporate control and end user independence. PC protection becomes easy for the user and safe for the company.

The threat of data theft has caused us all to take more responsibility in the way we treat propriety information. Further, the time when our IT departments would take full and complete responsibility for the loss of data passed with the advent of flexible working. Tools like EVault’s Endpoint Protection (EEP) give workers the freedom to roam whilst maintaining an appropriate level of caution and discretion.
 

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Tags: Cloud Storage, Community cloud, Platform-as-a-service, Infrastructure-as-a-service

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