Warning! This Blog on Missing Laptops Contains Content that May Shock CEOs and CFOs

If you’re a CEO or CFO you should sit down and steady yourself before reading further.  I can’t make this easy, so I’ll just say it.  According to a 2009 study by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach, most of which result from a lost or stolen laptops, is $6.75 million per case in the U.S. and $3.4 million globally.  Deep breath.  I’ll give you a moment.

I’m not addressing CIOs here because while they may not know the exact cost, they’re already well aware that missing laptops are an expensive and difficult problem.  They’re also doing whatever they can to mitigate the risks, one thing possibly being the use of Intel Anti-Theft Technology to completely disable PCs that may have gone astray with a “poison pill” – brick ‘em, we like to say.  Down comes the liability associated with losing customer information, corporate secrets and other data you can’t afford to have on the loose.  And, yes, that laptop can be securely unbricked remotely when Bob the  accountant discovers the missing PC under the dry cleaning in the back seat of his car.

Intel and PGP, now part of Symantec, have been fighting for some time for the rights of CEOs and CFOs to lead normal lives without the shakes that come with worrying about some sales guy leaving his laptop and the plans for the company’s next widget in a Starbuck’s.

Symantec, having acquired PGP, has taken the next step today by expanding its security solution set with the introduction of PGP Whole Disk Encryption with support for Intel Anti-Theft Technology. Combining the two technologies makes data very darn secure.  It even deters thieves, who after trying to fence of few of these high-tech bricks will likely turn to more profitable work boosting cars. PGP Whole Disk Encryption also increases security when shipping PCs and lowers the cost of decommissioning older hardware.  Intel’s hardware-based Anti-Theft Technology is available in many of the latest notebooks with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and vPro processors.

By the way, the PGP Whole DiskEncryption with Intel Anti-Theft Technology also will support new Intel instructions for the Advanced Encryption Standard, which can decrease the time to encrypt a laptop by up to 40 percent while increasing throughput on solid state drives, according to Symantec internal testing.  This may sound like technobabble, but this feature isn’t for your IT operations.  it’s for the people who use PCs and bridle every time the hourglass brings their work to a halt.  It means your PC runs faster when it’s encrypting and decrypting stuff.  So to simplify things, I’m taking the liberty of renaming it Intel Anti-Hourglass Technology.

Finally, CEOs and CFOs, talk to your CIOs about Symantec PGP Whole Disk Encryption with Intel vPro and figure out what the cost of missing laptop is for your company.  Feeling better?