Firm launches laptop tracking software to prevent data theft

Data from wandering laptops wiped automatically.

A British company has developed an intelligent security technology that can wipe data if a laptop is moved from its designated space.

Backstopp, from technology company Virtuity, works by using wireless network, such as WiFi, to monitor a laptop's location. If the laptop is moved from its allowed zone, the software steps in to remove sensitive data.

Virtuity claims the software, designed to be used in conjunction with encryption software, provides another layer of protection from data theft. The system can provide details of which laptops contain what data, and their level of security.

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 center, or the control center sees that the machine has been moved out of the secure zone, the system seeks out the digital heartbeat and deletes the data.

The software can also use any in-built webcam to start taking a series of photographs to help identify the thief, uploading the images as soon as any network becomes available.

Dean Bates, CTO of Virtuity said the vast majority of laptops are not stolen for their data. "But the ultimate recipient will often come across the data and use it for criminal purposes. This solution prevents that illicit use."

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