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Regular remote backups, data encryption and a two-stage authentication sign-on process are the best ways to secure laptop data.

In June 23, 2006, the White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) ordered government agencies to get their laptop security act together and encrypt their data within 45 days. Although the OMB order applied only to the federal government, analysts consider it a wake-up call to private-sector enterprises, which face the same risks when it comes to data on laptops.

"I've been recommending that companies encrypt their laptops for 10 years," says Jeff Moss, director at Black Hat, a Seattle-based security consulting firm that uses WinMagic SecureDoc to encrypt its own laptops. "Back then, it was way too esoteric," he says, but now he believes companies will take laptop data security seriously.

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This was first published in February 2007

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