A laptop is an indispensable business tool for knowledge workers and executives alike. Laptops empower mobile executives to generate results for their employers but these laptops can also be detrimental to a business if their proprietary information falls into the wrong hands.

Did you know that 600,000 laptops are lost or stolen at US airports each year? Based on a 2009 survey of lost laptop cases by the Ponemon Institute, the true cost of a lost or stolen laptop to an enterprise is $50,000! There are countless ways laptops are stolen or IP is lost by mobile executives. Industrial espionage, theft, laptop damage or loss due to human error can lead to loss of important corporate data and the very least, loss of productivity due to the absence of a working laptop for the mobile executive.

There are multiple ways that Citrix XenClient can help protect the data on an executive laptop and help a mobile executive get back to work on a new laptop FAST! The focus of today’s blog is to cover a few ways how XenClient can protect your intellectual property after a machine is lost or stolen, as part of the XenClient for Better Laptop Security series.

All local virtual desktops on a XenClient laptop can be protected with AES 256-bit encryption. This can be enabled in the policy setting within the management backend component of XenClient. AES 256-bit encryption ensures that the local virtual desktops on XenClient will not be accessible to anyone other than the laptop owners. If the system gets into the wrong hands the data in the local virtual desktops will remain protected from unauthorized attempts to access the data.

When a machine is reported lost or stolen, helpdesk pros can issue a remote kill pill from the XenClient management backend to the XenClient laptop. This makes the corporate computing environment completely inaccessible. If the laptop does not connect back on the network, IT administrators can also set lease policies for a predefined time period (i.e. X number of days). If a XenClient machine does not check in within the specific timeframe as defined in the policy, the machine will be locked and become inaccessible to ensure that there is no unauthorized access and use. Laptop owners can regain control of their virtual desktops by calling the helpdesk to reset their access. Similarly, employees who lose their computers can quickly get back to work by picking up where they last left off. They can perform self-service recovery of their virtual desktops by logging into the Synchronizer for XenClient, the backend component that resides safely in the datacenter. They can simply download their virtual desktops to their new XenClient-powered laptop. It picks up from where they last backed up their systems – something that happens automatically in the background with the Synchronizer for XenClient.

XenClient and the management backend enable IT administrators to create policies that lock down the paths that data can leave a laptop. Flexible policies allow administrators to selectively disable the use of certain USB devices such as a flash drive or writable optical drive. This ensures that data only leaves the system via approved paths such as the corporate e-mail system.

The mechanisms mentioned here are just a few of the many examples of how XenClient can ensure better laptop security. XenClient helps to protect business information and ensure appropriate access by mobile employees while providing mobile executives with flexibility and performance that they demand.

Check out the white paper “Protect Sensitive Data on Laptops – Even for Disconnected Users” for more ways on how XenClient can secure data on laptops.

We will like to hear from you on how XenClient is helping you to protect your business information.

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