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Laptop Venn & Zen

It's eight o'clock. Do you know where your laptop is?

Everyone knows laptops are one of the most vulnerable points in the corporate network -- and one of the most indispensable. I can't imagine working without mine, not to mention checking my bank balance and paying bills. I also can't imagine losing it.

But loss of laptops and the technology that goes with them, including portable storage devices, is all too common. (If you doubt, check out the role laptops played in the closure of Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2004.) (See Los Alamos Disks May Not Be Lost.) When disaster strikes the impact can shatter corporate security and stifle business growth.

In light of this, recent storage industry developments seem long overdue. IBM has added tools that bolster the laptop backup capabilities of its CDP for Files package. (See IBM Updates CDP.) Iron Mountain, frequently cited in data loss reports, is offering software to help encrypt laptop data and automatically disable lost or stolen laptops. (See Iron Mtn Adds DataDefense Solution.) Security vendors like Check Point Software and GuardianEdge Technologies have overhauled their wares to better accommodate laptop users. (See Check Point Extends Security and Data Thefts Spurs GuardianEdge.)

It's nice to see the industry whiff the decaf latte. But one of the most promising developments is still unfolding. Last week's purchase of laptop backup vendor Mobiliti by WAFS supplier Tacit Networks Inc. heralds a compelling combination. (See Tacit Adds Mobiliti to Shopping List.) By incorporating laptop backup into the WAFS platform, which optimizes remote site data connectivity, IT pros could get better security, data management, and cost savings.

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