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Tips on Using a Company Laptop: Security Audit Programs

written by: Ada Stoy•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 2/28/2011

Laptop security audit programs can prevent many disasters in the company because they make it harder to suffer damage, in case a company laptop is stolen. No company should go without such a program.

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    Why You Need Laptop Security Audit Programs?

    Laptops are so convenient, yet they are more vulnerable than desktop computers. While even the best laptop security audit program can't help you against physical damage of the machine (i.e. if you drop it and as a result of this the hard disk with all the data on it becomes unusable), in many other cases they can save you and your information from unauthorized access.

    Laptops are frequently stolen, which means that the data on them, if nor guarded properly, could easily get into the hands of people not meant to have access to it. Additionally, company laptops are frequently used in public networks (i.e. public wireless access points) and if the connection is not encrypted, this is a huge risk.

    As you see, there are many threats a company laptop is exposed to. You can't deal with these threats without the proper weapons. This is why you need laptop security audit programs.

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    Some Good Laptop Security Audit Programs to Try

    Laptop security audit programs come in many flavors and not all of them are equal. There are laptop security audit programs that you can rely on and programs you'd better trash. Without any claims that the programs described next are the best (though they certainly are reliable ones), here are some good laptop security audit programs you might want to try:

    • If you are using Windows, you might be happy even with the built-in security audit features it has. For instance, if you want to protect a local file or folder, open Windows Explorer, right-click the file or folder you want a security audit for, click Properties, and then select the Security tab. There you will find the Advanced option where you select the Auditing tab. This will give you information when and who accessed your file/folder. In order to use this option, you need to have enabled object-auditing access first.
    • Use a vulnerability scanner to audit your laptop. Vulnerability scanners, for instance Windows Vulnerability Scanner are of great help because they manage to find vulnerabilities before hackers do. Such a scanner points system weaknesses and very often recommends a solution. There are very sophisticated vulnerability scanners but if you want just to try them, you can start with the free Windows Vulnerability Scanner (see References).
    • Use a Remote Laptop Security (RLS) program. Remote Laptop Security programs, for instance Rest Safe, can also help because if your computer is stolen, you will be notified right away. Some of these programs also allow to control your laptop remotely, so even if it is physically not in your hands, you can still prevent thieves from misusing it.

    These laptop security audit programs and solutions can minimize the damage in case your laptop is stolen. However, since good security includes many other steps, always use a good antimalware program and a firewall – this helps a lot to protect your laptop and the data in it.

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    References

    Windows Vulnerability Scanner, http://www.protectorplus.com/download/winvulscan.htm

    Rest Safe, http://preyproject.com/

    Hoelzer, David, “IT Audit: Security Beyond the Checklist" http://it-audit.sans.org/community/papers/security-audit-consultant-windows-xp-laptop-auditors-perspective_117

    Computer Security Audit Checklist, http://www.chrishardie.com/tech/securityaudit_checklist.html