Who is Looking Over Your Shoulder?

You’re on a flight from New York to London, LA to Chicago, or San Francisco to Honolulu. The flight is delayed – again – and you decide to catch up on e-mail from the airport bar. You grab the only seat available, pull out your laptop and scroll through Outlook, while taking a cool sip of Guinness. But, have you given much thought to who’s also reading your e-mail? Or looking at that confidential presentation? You should.

IDC estimates that more than 72% of workers in the United States have some level of mobile access to information. Further, People Security estimates more than 67% of mobile workers are accessing some type of sensitive data outside the trusted confines of the corporate firewall. Sensitive data includes social security numbers, credit card numbers, trade or government secrets, and HR information and the the headlines are full of examples of what happens when these data breaches occur.  IT departments have focused on strict endpoint security policies to lock down data leaving the enterprise, but few of these policies extend to protecting visual data. With the prevalence of digital cameras, information leaving an organization, unintentionally, is just a click away.

So how does one successfully achieve an effective laptop security solution? First and foremost, it is important that mobile users, especially those working in government, take advantage of the security features, which are readily available to them (i.e., disk encryption, fingerprint scanners, smartcard readers, chip-level security, remote device management, etc.).

Second, ensure that you have a visual screen protection system in place. Screen filters are one option to protect against screen eavesdroppers, but these solutions are not the most secure. Optimal security recognizes the user and blurs the data for non-authorized users. For its customers working with the highest security information, Panasonic announced a recent partnership with Oculis Labs, through which we offer a bundled upgrade option for all Toughbook mobile computers with embedded webcams (i.e., Toughbook 31, C1 and 53). All such devices come with the option of being preloaded and delivered with Oculis Labs’ PrivateEye Enterprise data privacy software, the recent recipient of Military Embedded Systems Editor’s Choice Award. The incorporated software protects critical information traveling outside the hosting computer—from the screen to the user’s eyes, while the embedded security features of the Toughbook device provide internal protection for the hardware.

Panasonic continues to keep laptop security top-of-mind and is committed to ensuring that only authorized access to information on the laptop takes place – inside and outside the office.

What’s your company’s policy on mobile computing and how are you securing your information from eavesdropping eyes?