Laptop security has always been something that businesses should take seriously, but COVID-19 has highlighted this even more. For many organisations, the pandemic has necessitated the shift towards a remote workforce, which has resulted in new vulnerabilities that hackers are able to exploit from home offices. According to a report by Deep Instinct, malware attacks increased by 358% from 2019 to 2020. This is largely attributed to the fact that employees working at home often lack the necessary knowledge and built-in security on their networks and computers to protect themselves from cyberattacks.
Cybersecurity is about more than just having antivirus software installed on your device. It’s also about its hardware and built-in features. Here are some key security features to look out for when buying a business laptop in 2021 to help protect your company and your workforce.
The right software
Although it’s not enough to just have an antivirus program installed, you do need to have trusted and up-to-date antivirus software on your laptop. While most Windows devices come with Microsoft Defender Antivirus, which has improved significantly on Windows 10, it should not be used as a standalone antivirus. Antivirus software such as Norton, Bitdefender, McAfee, ESET, and Sophos are all excellent choices and offer a range of personal to enterprise packages. Due to recent controversy, you may want to avoid using Avast and Kaspersky. It is also important not to install more than one active antivirus on your machine at the same time. This sometimes results in conflicting security privileges that could prevent your internet browser or other system processes from working properly.
It’s always best to choose a laptop from a manufacturer that takes security seriously. Acer’s Travelmate range of laptops features Acer ProShield Plus, which makes it easier for businesses to manage and maintain security. It protects the integrity of your data while removing and storing files, and helps you control access to sensitive documents or applications.
With ransomware attacks on the rise, having a backup of your essential work files can save you from having to pay cybercriminals to get everything back. Windows has a built-in backup and recovery system that can allow you to create a backup on an external drive, but your best bet is to automatically create your backups in the cloud.
Software might protect you from cyberattacks, but it won’t help stop unauthorised access to sensitive data if your laptop gets stolen. Biometric features such as facial, iris and fingerprint recognition are the surest ways to protect your personal and business data from unauthorised access. If you have any business information on your laptop (and who doesn’t!), fingerprint login is an absolute must.
With Windows Hello and Acer ProShield Plus, you can use that fingerprint scanner to access secure sites or apps. No more remembering long password strings, or worrying that your password isn’t secure enough, just scan your one-of-a-kind fingerprint, and you’re in.
Trusted Platform Module chip
A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a cryptoprocessor that is pre-built into some laptop motherboards to enable hardware-based encryption. This is the most secure form of laptop security because it means that even if hackers gain remote access to your computer, they won’t be able to read your data without a special password. This powerful anti-tampering chip checks for signs of intrusion when your system turns on, plus it features built-in tamper protection to prevent a thief from bypassing it, using another chip, or deploying other types of intrusion. No one should be buying a business laptop without a TPM in 2021.
Covers and locks
Preventing your laptop from being stolen in the first place is always better than having security measures in place in case it does. Some laptops can have a Kensington lock slot installed, which allows you to physically chain your laptop to a desk or a table if you need to.
On the remote access front, if your laptop happens to be compromised by a hacker, they can sometimes gain access to your webcam. Fortunately, secure laptops come with a built-in webcam cover that allows you to protect your identity and your privacy. It can also save you from any awkward situations where you join a meeting and accidentally have your webcam turned on when you weren’t prepared for it.
Make security a priority
As the way we do business becomes increasingly digital, we open ourselves up to more opportunities, and more potential vulnerabilities. Security features should always be a first consideration when buying a business laptop. Look for a laptop that ticks all the security boxes, like the Acer Travelmate P4 Spin. Afterall, if your laptop manufacturer doesn’t take security as seriously as Acer does, your business has a lot to lose.
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