We have previously highlighted an information security incident where a laptop theft from a hospital caused significant data loss and negative publicity. You might be thinking what does that have to do with me? I am safe because I have a desktop and those don’t get stolen like laptops do. Think again! Desktops are also a frequent target of theft as City College of New York learned the hard way. A desktop computer was stolen that contained the personal information of 7000 students who are now at an increased risk of identity theft.
Information Security Lessons Learned
- Desktops and laptops should utilize encryption when any sensitive data will reside on the machine. Often times it is not easy to know up front if the machine will be used to store sensitive data so it is best to default to a secure installation and install encryption every time.
- Laptops are not the only devices that could benefit from a cable lock. Desktops and other computer equipment like portable projectors should also utilize them to add an extra dimension of physical security and theft deterrence.