Bracknell Forest Council has installed a system for laptop tracking and remote data deletion, in order to comply with Government Connect regulations.
The council joined the secure local government email service in June, and signed up to the Computrace Agent software-as-a-service from supplier Absolute Software as one of the steps for improving its security.
Richard Dawson, IT services manager at Bracknell, told delegates at last week's IDC Security Conference in London that Bracknell took 90 new security measures after joining the Government Connect service. Steps included laptop encryption, securing USB devices and emails, as well as improving security records for auditing.
The council uses the Computrace Agent system to provide a full inventory of its 400 laptops, easily updated whenever changes are made such as when newly elected councillors are given a notebook. The system draws data into a central console, showing a view of the laptops both on and off the network.
Tracking laptops had been difficult before the change, he said. “We often gave out laptops and we wouldn’t see them for four years until there was a technology refresh,” he said. “Now it’s much easier to manage them and what’s on them. We did not want to be another council in the headlines for data loss.”
In the event of a laptop being stolen, the system enables the council to recapture the data remotely, and then delete if from the laptop. It council has already used remote data deletion four times, Dawson said, but he did not give details of the incidents.
The system “fulfils the audit requirements of the council and the information commissioner”, he said, adding that it also supports ITIL requirements to maintain a federated configuration management database.