Enter Vector Networks, which has added another tool to its asset management lineup designed to help companies better secure their hardware.
Working in conjunction with the Atlanta-based firm's mainstay Vector Asset Management Professional is the new Vector Asset Locator (VAL) which adds RFID (define) tags to notebook computers and other hardware so IT can physically locate and track them.
Depending on how the system is set up, IT would be alerted within seconds when a notebook is moved by an unauthorized user or leaves a location without approval. An alert would also go off if the RFID tag is removed.
"This has been driven by customer request," said Jason Smith, vice president of marketing at Vector. "We provide hooks so they can extract the security information they need from one console."
Smith said Vector has talked to companies as small as 50 employees to those with several thousand about implementing the system. In addition to Vector's asset management system, the RFID tags cost between $4 and $10 each. Vector is working with several RFID suppliers.
Vector customer Tory Skyers, an infrastructure engineer for Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors, with 64 offices in the greater Philadelphia/Tri-State area, said he sees a lot of value in adding RFID to his user's notebooks.
"When I think about all the notebooks we use, and the investment in capital and the content stored there , you could have information on a $10 million deal there, it's a very valuable asset you need to protect," Skyers told internetnews.com.
Skyers also said there is a lot flexibility in what Vector is offering. "I can update information in the database and have events trigger certain actions, even sending an alert to the police."
Gartner estimates a single stolen laptop can cost an organization more than $6,000 in hardware, software, and time to restore data. The cost goes up depending on the sensitive nature or value of content lost.