IT departments are being offered a service which allows them to 'shred' data instantly if employees lose a laptop.
The service, offered by US firm LogMeIn, which provides remote connection services, has been introduced following a series of high-profile incidents in which firms have lost sensitive information.
The service gives users the ability to select files and wipe folders, either when the user goes online or hasn’t used the computer for a pre-defined period.
The service will also keep a history of when and where laptops are being used, providing a trail that can help firms to recover stolen machines.
Rich Anderson, chief executive of a US café chain, said the service had helped the company recover a stolen laptop within days.
“The thieves later logged in and we saw them come online. We got the IP address of the PC, notified the police, and within days secured a warrant, apprehended the thief and recovered the laptop,” he said.
The technology has also helped police in Texas prosecute a theft ring targeting government laptops.