Protecting Your Laptops
Today's focus on protecting customer information combined with increased everyday use of laptop computers means more and more banks are seeking protections against theft of these portable machines. There's good reason for that: according to the Computer Security Institute and the FBI, 57 percent of network breaches originate from stolen computers; 80 percent of lost laptops are never reported; and less than 20 percent of lost or stolen laptops are ever recovered.
One way to protect the data is to protect the machine. Computer manufacturer Toshiba, for example, recently announced that it would include AuthenTec biometric fingerprint sensors on two of its newest machines. Those are the sensors that go below the surface of the skin to take a reading for more accurate identification. Users of the new laptops won't need multiple passwords to access websites, corporate networks, email or online banking accounts - just the right fingerprint.
Another way to protect the information on a machine is to destroy the data if the laptop is stolen or lost. Heritage Bank of Commerce, San Jose, CA, recently installed a software package by Beachhead Solutions, Inc. that automatically eliminates specified files or programs to prevent compromise of sensitive data. The software is configured to delete that data under specified circumstances such as behavior that is inconsistent with that of the authorized user, and the data can be set to be deleted in a specified sequence.
An example of a circumstance that could trigger deletion would be consecutive incorrect log-in attempts. The machines can also be synched with a company's network so that a trigger for deletion might be switched on if a machine known to be lost or stolen is used on the Internet to access the company's server. A laptop also could be configured so that it is required to periodically check in with a host machine, and if a certain time elapsed without that check in - the data would be deleted.
Copyright © 2005 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 15, No. 8, 8/05
First published on 08/01/2005