We live in an age of technology. We need to take security seriously to protect our data. However, when most people think of data security, they often only think about securing a device's data from cyber threats.
While defending against online threats is one of the most common data protection methods, many people neglect to secure their devices when they're not in use. Often, laptops and other devices are left out in the open or an unsecured location when they're not being used, resulting in a 1-in-10 chance of being stolen. Unfortunately, nearly 98% of stolen laptops are never recovered.
According to 86% of IT practitioners, this is a serious security risk as 56% of lost or stolen laptops results in a data breach, costing $47,000 per device lost.
Still, not everyone is motivated to take device security seriously. However, we all must take steps to protect our devices, especially when they contain sensitive information or data that could be used for nefarious purposes.
Why It's Important to Secure Your Device?
According to the FBI, a laptop is stolen every 53 seconds in the United States. While many would assume that most of these numbers occur from devices stolen from home or off the street, research shows that over half (58%) of laptops are stolen from work, and nearly 85% of managers believe these thefts occur internally. This means that employees have a great deal of responsibility for protecting their devices, especially when they have access to sensitive information or data.
While the loss or theft of a personal laptop is devastating enough, the consequences of the loss or theft of a workplace laptop can be catastrophic.
For example, in November 2015, A $90,000 fine was ordered to be paid to the state of Connecticut on behalf of EMC and Hartford Hospital following the theft of a single unencrypted laptop in 2012. This laptop contained the sensitive data of over 9,000 individuals and was stolen from an EMC employee's home.
In another incident, a laptop stolen from SterlingBackCheck, a background screening company based in New York, contained sensitive data from over 100,000 people, putting thousands of people at risk.
Events such as these could have been prevented with a few device security precautions. The best way to prevent the theft of a device or the exposure of sensitive data is to take the necessary precautions to lock your device when it's not in use and invest in proper data security.
Types of Device Security You Need
While there are many different types of device security, there are two primary ways to keep devices secure: physical and digital.
Physical Device Locks
The first line of defense to keep your laptop secure is through physical device security. This can be accomplished in several ways, such as using a device lock, which allows you to secure your device when it is not in use.
Device locks can be used to either physically lock your device shut or they can be used to tie down a portable device to a larger, stationary object, such as a desk or filing cabinet. Not only do they provide device security, but they also deter thieves.
Digital Device Security
Another way to keep your device secure is by protecting it with digital device security. This can be done by installing software such as a screen lock or a system password on your laptop to protect against those who would like to access your device when it's not being used.
It can also include software designed to protect your sensitive data while using your laptop, such as encryption software, which allows you to secure your data so that only you can access it. In this way, if your laptop is lost or stolen, the data on the device is protected from prying eyes.
Including a security key or a biometric device for second-factor authentication will also help you keep your laptop secure. Whether you are a Windows or Apple user, there are biometric security features and second-factor authentication.
Windows Hello allows you to access your device using a PIN, fingerprint, or facial recognition on many of their devices. Apple TouchID uses a fingerprint to access your device, and even Chrome OS offers these biometric tools.
Physically Locking Your Laptop is More Important Than You Think
Laptop security is no longer a luxury. It's a necessity. Yes – you should be using various software on your laptop for proper data protection. However, you need to have a method of physically protecting your laptop in different scenarios, such as:
When Working on the Go
When working in a public space, such as a coffee shop, you should use a device lock to protect your laptop from being stolen. An excellent option for this scenario could be a portable combination laptop lock that allows you to secure your device to a table should you have to walk away for any reason.
When Hybrid Working
Companies continue to embrace hybrid work models. According to a study conducted by AT&T, by 2024, workers will do more than half (56%) of their work off-site. Unfortunately, this is when your laptop is most vulnerable to theft.
A great solution for this scenario would be a portable laptop lock, such as the MicroSaver® Keyed Laptop Lock, which has been tested against the most thorough standards.
When Working in Shared Workspaces
Even if you're back to working full time in the office, you still need to be taking the necessary precautions to protect your laptop. The reality is that many people in shared workspaces have access to your devices, often without your knowledge. This is when a physical device lock will come in handy. A great option for this scenario would be the Universal 3in1 lock.
Additional Tips to Help Prevent Against Theft
To help protect your devices against theft, you should be taking the necessary precautions to lock your devices when they are not in use, such as when you're away from your desk or in a shared workspace.
Here are a few other helpful tips to help you keep your device secure:
- Purchase Security Software: Several different software solutions on the market can help you protect your data and sensitive information, including encryption software.
- Backup all Data: It's essential to have a backup copy of all of your data if your laptop is stolen. Ideally, these will be copies of your data stored online, such as in the cloud. If your laptop is stolen, you still have access to your data.
- Travel with a Secure Laptop Case: In addition to a physical lock for your laptop device, you should also invest in a secure laptop case. These cases can help prevent damage to your device, such as if it is dropped. They can also prevent someone from accessing your device if it is left behind.
- Utilize Biometric Locking Devices: Biometric devices are a great way to add protection to your laptop. These devices use technology, such as fingerprint scanners to allow you to access your device when it is locked. This is a great way to ensure that only authorized personnel access your device and to help prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing your data.
Kensington Solutions for Device Security
When it comes to securing your device, you have several different options. The most important thing is to find a solution that works for you and tailor your device security solution to the needs of your business.
Kensington offers a variety of solutions for device security, including portable device locks and secure travel cases for the worker on the go. We are committed to providing the most effective solutions for businesses of all sizes, and we'd be happy to help you find the best option for your needs.