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Laptop and Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) security.

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  • Laptop and Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) security.

    Enough is enough! Too many of these things are being taken and there are way to deter theft. Here are some suggestions.

    (1) Are corporate security responsibilities for laptop computers and PDAs to include usage, and by whom, spelled out in written directives issued to all employees? If not, explain why not?

    (2) What office and specific individuals within that office are responsible to corporate management for the implementation of these written directives?

    (3) Does the corporation maintain an accurate and current listing of make, model and serial numbers for all corporate laptop computers and PDAs? If the answer is no, explain why not? If the answer is yes, what office does this function?

    (4) Are corporate laptops and PDAs inscribed with corporate logo ID numbers? Are “corporate unique” bar coded inventory stickers assigned and affixed to each laptop and PDA?

    (5) How often are thorough inventories conducted? (quarterly, semiannually or annually) If such inventories are not conducted, why? If conducted, did “eye see - hand touch” each laptop and PDA?

    (6) While at the workplace, how are laptops and PDAs secured? If laptops and PDAs are not secured, why aren’t they? Three suggested products to secure laptops: Kensington® MicroSaver™ Security System. Contact any computer supply outlet. Smith & Wesson® Security Products, Notebook Lock™Contact Noble Enterprises, Limited, 5325 Newcastle Avenue, Suite 202, Encino, California 91316. Telephone 818-881-0354. FAX: 818-881- 9404. E-mail: [email protected] . Segull Security Systems’® Universal Notebook Security Cable. Contact Segull Security Systems®, Inc., 15230 Burbank Boulevard, Suite 106, Van Nuys, California 91411. Telephone 818-781-6560. FAX: 818-781-0508 Toll Free 888-781-6562. Web site: www.segullsecurity.com E-mail: [email protected] One end of the steel cable fits into the security lock slot on the laptop. The other end of the cable should be secured to the docking station, your desk or some other hard to move object.

    (7) At the workplace, are computers and PDAs protected by EAS technology? Would use of EAS technology prove beneficial at this location? Explain.

    (8) When in travel status, are laptops and PDAs secured in accordance with corporate policy? If not, why not? Does this policy deal with issues of temporary workplace, hotel and motel security? If not, why not? Are radio frequency anti-theft systems, such as TrackIT™ from Segull Security Systems® issued to employees? If not, explain why not? Contact Segull Security Systems®, Inc., 15230 Burbank Boulevard, Suite 106, Van Nuys, California 91411. Telephone 818-781-6560. FAX: 818-781-0508 Toll Free 888-781-6562. Web site: www.segullsecurity.com E-mail: [email protected]

    (9) What is the corporation’s written procedure concerning laptop and PDA security at airport security screening points?

    (10) *"Most of us use the PDA to manage our time and to store information. One inherent risk of loading confidential data in a PDA is protecting that information in case of loss or theft. Many users fail to password protect their PDA or lose the PDA when the unit is not in secure mode. We recommend that users do not store personal or critical business information on a PDA and avoid sending or receiving sensitive messages that you do not want recorded. Messages sent to and from PDA can be retrieved by the service provider in their entirety, and that confidential message text can be stored in a database forever, making that information available to others." (*Source: Martin Cramer, CPP, Security Manager, United Building Security, Dallas, Texas, “Security Tip of the Week,” © Security Products E-News ®, 01-01-03)

    NB: It is strongly recommended that laptops be packed in carry-on baggage within a Faraday enclosure. Since x-ray machine electronic components and conveyor belt motors are not shielded from the conveyor belt, exposure from these sources can be detrimental to integrity of the magnetic storage media contained within the laptop. It is for this reason the laptop should be protected by a Faraday enclosure. A suggested source for these enclosures is ESD Systems®, 19 Brigham Street, Unit 9, Marlboro, MA 01752-3170, Phone 508-485-7390, and Fax 508-480-0275.

    Keep your laptop with you. It may seem obvious, but too many people put down their laptop while traveling, and then walk away to make a call, use the restroom or get a snack.

    Be especially wary when passing through airport security screening points. Two thieves working together can delay you at the screening point, and then steal your laptop as it moves through the x-ray conveyor belt ahead of you.

    Enjoy the day,
    Bill

  • #2
    Bill: Is the TSA still requiring that all laptops be removed from carry-on luggage then placed in a bin for direct X-Ray? When I flew in 2001 and 2004, I was required to do so in both instances. I was late for the 2004 flight, so I didn't try to argue (I was already pre-selected for additional screening due to paying with cash, cash is always faster than debit) with the TSA folks.

    When I asked about the scanning in 2001, two Florida National Guard infantry soldiers came over and told me to put the laptop on the conveyor and don't argue.

    When I flew in 2001, another thing that I noticed was the bigger the city, the less likely that military police, master at arms, security forces, or marine police were used in the airport.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Bill Warnock
      Keep your laptop with you. It may seem obvious, but too many people put down their laptop while traveling, and then walk away to make a call, use the restroom or get a snack.
      Enjoy the day,
      Bill
      Bill, you hit the nail on the head here! This is our biggest problem in hotel security these days. A whole group of people get up at noon & leave a meeting room to go for lunch, leaving their laptops all over the room on tables. No one bothers to ask that the salon be locked. They come back an houir later & no more laptop. Or they arrive from the airport with their luggage. Pile it on a chair across from the front desk & go & check in with their backs to the luggage. There are organized gangs that dress like businessmen & hang around hotel lobbies looking for chances like this. KEEP YOUR LAPTOP WITH YOU!
      I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
      Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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      • #4
        Nathan, the last time I checked, you could have it as carry on baggage as long as it was screened. Use of the Faraday shield is to protect the magnetic media from the magnetic lines of flux emanating from the belt motor. If you place the laptop on the belt, unprotected, you could wind up with garbled or soft data. Recording levels are just to low to compete with the motors.
        HotelSecurity, thanks for the kind remarks. Some folks could screw up a steel ball.
        Enjoy the day,
        Bill

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        • #5
          Bill, Laptop security is a major concern of mine. Working for Boeing, the company buy's hundred of thousands of computers from one manufacturer. Most of these computers are laptops and employees issued laptops get to take them home. We field at least 5 stolen laptop reports per day at my site alone . Both Boeing and the V.A. have been in the national spotlight lately due to laptops being stolen. I know Boeing does everything in its power to prevent it however people are morons. There is absolutely no common sense in people anymore. Every laptop at work includes a locking cable as well. Yet we officers still walk through the buildings and confiscate unsecured laptops, often with the locking cable next to them. This is an extremely frustrating situation for us. However, all the education in the world can't get through idiotcy. Just something we need to live with

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          • #6
            Michael, at least it keeps us employed. If there was no crime there would be no need for us (That's why I'm glad we also do fire interventions & first aid because one day hotels are going to be crime free, ya sure!)
            I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
            Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Michael Ledgerwood
              Bill, Laptop security is a major concern of mine. Working for Boeing, the company buy's hundred of thousands of computers from one manufacturer. Most of these computers are laptops and employees issued laptops get to take them home. We field at least 5 stolen laptop reports per day at my site alone . Both Boeing and the V.A. have been in the national spotlight lately due to laptops being stolen. I know Boeing does everything in its power to prevent it however people are morons. There is absolutely no common sense in people anymore. Every laptop at work includes a locking cable as well. Yet we officers still walk through the buildings and confiscate unsecured laptops, often with the locking cable next to them. This is an extremely frustrating situation for us. However, all the education in the world can't get through idiotcy. Just something we need to live with
              Michael:
              What ground rules are in place in the event of a stolen laptop? Are their sanctions for their violation? Are sanctions ever enforced? Are the laptops equipped with tracking devices that cause immediate notification when first used on the Internet? If not, that would be ironic as Boeing devised an "Unobtrusive" tacking device placed somewhere in the B-17 at the start of WWII. Captured B-17's used by the Nazis were located and subsequently tracked by the Allies.
              Do senior and security management officials understand the threat to sensitive data poised by inductive coupling when the laptop is taken to an individual's home? Is management aware that a temporary "secured" enclosure can be used in the residence to mitigate all security threats when these enclosures are properly used?
              Michael, don't respond to this posting. To other forum members, inquire of your management of these items addressed to Michael.
              Enjoy the day,
              Bill

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by HotelSecurity
                Michael, at least it keeps us employed. If there was no crime there would be no need for us (That's why I'm glad we also do fire interventions & first aid because one day hotels are going to be crime free, ya sure!)
                How true, we have a lot of job security here. I got to ask though, and don't take this wrong but why would hotels expierience laptop theft? Is it that common for your guests to get their stuff stolen? Ive never worked hotel security so that is why I am asking. my preception is a guest locks their stuff in their room and it should be realatively safe. But then again I figured people at my work would use their laptop locks .

                I know there can be serious repricussions if you are found negligent and get your laptop stolen. As to what happens I don't know that is up to HR not security. I am just a lowly officer and I like it like that .

                have a great day!!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Michael Ledgerwood
                  How true, we have a lot of job security here. I got to ask though, and don't take this wrong but why would hotels expierience laptop theft? Is it that common for your guests to get their stuff stolen? Ive never worked hotel security so that is why I am asking. my preception is a guest locks their stuff in their room and it should be realatively safe. But then again I figured people at my work would use their laptop locks .
                  They don't often get stolen from guest rooms. It's the people attending a meeing in a banquet room. They all leave the room at lunch time leaving the front door open with a room full of laptops sitting on the tables. Or the guy checking in who puts it down on the chair in the lobby while he goes over to the desk to check in. NOT KEEPING AN EYE ON IT.

                  And room thefts DO occur. A lot less than they used to since we've switched to electronic locks but I still get one or two a year. There are crooks that roam the hallways looking for doors not closed properly (again the fault of the guest not being security conscious). Or they see a Maid cleaning in a room, rush in pretending to be the guest. They tell the Maid they forgot to take their computer & are late for their meeting. They grab the one in the room & run. Some of these guys make their living doing this, they're good!
                  Last edited by HotelSecurity; 06-25-2006, 01:35 PM.
                  I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                  Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    well Hotel, if it wasn't for stupid people we would all be out of a job. I think in my case there are maybe 1% of the victims who are truely victims. These are the people who have their laptops locked in their car or put away in their house and when their house or car gets broken into it gets stolen. The other 99% are just careless. I think Boeing needs to start fining the people the cost of the laptop if they let one get stolen. I gurantee the problem will diminish rapidly. One thing I don't agree with is allowing someone to take a laptop home that contains Limited, Propretary, or classified info on it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Michael Ledgerwood
                      well Hotel, if it wasn't for stupid people we would all be out of a job. I think in my case there are maybe 1% of the victims who are truely victims. These are the people who have their laptops locked in their car or put away in their house and when their house or car gets broken into it gets stolen. The other 99% are just careless. I think Boeing needs to start fining the people the cost of the laptop if they let one get stolen. I gurantee the problem will diminish rapidly. One thing I don't agree with is allowing someone to take a laptop home that contains Limited, Propretary, or classified info on it.
                      Michael: Amen! Now if only top management and some rather juvenile minded or should I say naive security management could grasp your suggestion. Keep plugging away. I've been at it since these things first came out in the early 1980s or at least when the government got them, and all I have to prove is a lot of gray hair, albeit closely cropped.
                      Managers if your employees need to take sensitive or classified information to work on, please consult BOTH volumes of MIL-HDBK 419(C), hopefully that is the latest edition, Grounding, Bonding and Shielding for Electronic Equipments and Facilities and after reading it, lo and behold, you will discover temporary inclosures. Do follow the established criteria, old thing!
                      Prior to getting this wild hair, check with the classification guide and the agency classifying the doucments for a waiver or an exception. They may take umbrage of documents leaving secure storage.
                      At one time I was in that business and we are a narrow minded group, thank you.
                      Enjoy the day,
                      Bill

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                      • #12
                        Just a thought...

                        I have been checking in my laptop recently when I've traveled the friendly skies. I was concerned at first with letting it out of my sight, but ultimately if it gets lost/stolen/damaged I will live without it. I wouldn't want to put my pet in cargo, but I'm pretty unconcerned when it comes to material goods. Now I have been using StompSoft's http://www.stompsoft.com/digital-vault.html to provide me with the security of knowing that my files are protected. So far, I've been pretty satisfied. I figure I have two choices: either protect my laptop or leave it at home.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A laptop is stolen and it is OUR concern? Have Human Resources draw up a policy turning the responsibility of Company equipment to each employee assigned equipment.

                          Hotels can assign a key to one individual who then is responsible for locking and unlocking the conference room.

                          I do feel a responsibilty when a company item is lost or stolen, but I did not lose the item or steal it....but then it becomes my job to protect it????

                          Protection of Company assets & Security is everyones concern and job.
                          Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
                          Groucho Marx

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                          • #14
                            That's the problem. The employee is incapble of protecting the data on the laptop. It isn't their technical area of expertise. It is the IT Security Department's area.
                            Some Kind of Commando Leader

                            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                              That's the problem. The employee is incapble of protecting the data on the laptop. It isn't their technical area of expertise. It is the IT Security Department's area.
                              Nathan, you are right on the mark. In many instances, no one at any level has set the ground rules.
                              It would seem the security structure cannot deal with the problem and when something happens, nobody can be punished for stupidity. It has not as yet been ruled a crime.
                              When going through the airport carry it in your carry-on luggage in a Faraday cage. Several companies who make static resistant products also make these devices. It must be remembered, x-ray energy will not destroy magnetic stored media, the magnetic lines of flux from the motor and conveyor system that cause problems.
                              Glad to be back to the threat I started.
                              Enjoy the day,
                              Bill

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