UK firm unveils laptop tracking technology to foil data thieves

A UK-based company has developed an intelligent laptop security technology that can block access and even destroy data if a machine is moved from its designated space.

A UK-based company has developed an intelligent laptop security technology that can block access and even destroy data if a machine is moved from its designated space.

Backstopp, from Virtuity, constantly monitors the electronic heartbeat of a laptop to determine its location. If the laptop is moved from its allowed zone the software steps in to remove sensitive data.

The development, which is designed to be used in conjunction with encryption software, will allow easier access to data for authorised personnel while providing another layer of protection from data theft.

The system can provide an at-a-glance report on which laptops contain what data, and their level of security.

Backstopp can use any wireless communication, such as Wi-Fi, to locate laptops. PCs can also be tagged with RFID chips to monitor movement when switched off. Companies can limit a laptop's movement to one desk, one floor or one building within a facility.

If a laptop owner reports it missing to the control centre, or the control centre concludes that the machine is at risk, such as being moved through a stairwell, the system seeks out the digital heartbeat and sends a self destruct message.

Meanwhile, the software on the laptop can use any in-built webcam to start taking a series of photographs to help with identification of the culprit, uploading the images as soon as any network becomes available. The system is completely invisible to the thief, it is claimed.

Prices for the system start at £10 a laptop per month. Data should continue to be encrypted, with BackStopp being used to bring a conclusion to any laptop loss.

The vast majority of laptops are not stolen for their data, but the ultimate recipient will often come across the data and could use it for criminal purposes. This solution prevents that illicit use, said Virtuity.




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