Absolute Software Corp. is updating one of its flagship lifecycle management offerings in order to protect against tech-savvy computer thieves.
The Vancouver-based data protection firm said it has integrated a “self-healing” feature into its Absolute Manage product. The new feature will reinstall the Absolute Manage tracking application in the event it is disabled or removed on a missing laptop.
The company said the functionality — which was developed out of existing Computrace BIOS-persistent self-healing technology — will create a “tamper-resistant, virtual tether” between IT and the devices they wish to track.
Absolute Manage allows IT managers to deploy software, manage licences, install patches, and monitor their mobile fleet of computers.
Stephen Midgley, vice-president of global marketing with Absolute Software, said that while many criminals are not that intelligent when it comes to technology, the new feature is aimed squared at frustrating the enterprising thieves that try and remove the computer tracking agent.
“The technology is built in at the factory level and is virtually undetectable,” he said.
He added that active and pending legislation in Canada and the U.S. is forcing companies to continue to demonstrate better asset management and tracking capabilities.
Sandi Conrad, a senior research analyst covering asset management and software licencing for London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group Ltd., said that because tracking agents are often removed by criminals soon after stealing a device, the ability to continue to trace a computer even after this removal becomes very attractive.
She said Absolute’s self-healing feature is a worthwhile one for companies that want to improve traceability and keep a high recovery rate for the devices that are stolen or go missing.
Conrad said the adoption of lifecycle management tools is “probably not as high as it should be” among Canadian enterprises. Not many companies, she added, have the capability to track and disable a laptop remotely.
“A lot of companies are diligent on physical security, but once a device is stolen, not many have the ability to trace and that’s something that needs to become more important,” Conrad said.
She added that the most vulnerable times for a laptop to go missing is either in transit or when it is either sitting in a storage area while waiting for redeployment, or once it has been marked for disposal and is waiting to be removed by either the leasing company or disposal company.
“The former will be noticed immediately and reported, the latter, it may not be noticed for some time,” she said. “If the missing laptop suddenly reappears on the inventory list, with new software and a new IP address, action can be taken to then recover the system.”