4. Deploy a strong BIOS password
Thwart data thieves by password protecting the basic input/output system (BIOS).
The primary function of the BIOS is to identify and initiate component hardware to prepare the laptop so software programs stored on the machine can load, execute and assume control of the laptop.
Some laptop manufacturers have stronger BIOS than others. Find out if the BIOS password locks the hard drive so it can't be removed and reinstalled into a similar machine.
5. Back Up and encrypt data
Always make sure to backup sensitive data. This doesn't have to take a long time you can use built-in backup utilities that come with most operating systems.
If your network doesn't have disk space for back ups, you can consider other offerings such as external hard drives, CD-Rs, tape back-up, even USB flash drives or online storage service.
There are also numerous vendors now offering data encryption tools that render information intelligible to anyone who does not have the proper decryption keys.
Another option is to employ a company virtual private network that encrypts data.
Info-Tech's Quin said there are also many free alternatives available. For instance, Microsoft offers an encryption tool native to its operating system.
"Users only need to activate the Windows encrypting file system (EFS) on their laptop but many people are not aware of it".
The EFS previously suffered from negative publicity because of a reports that it had an inferior management system.
But Quin said this has improved over the years to match many commercial encryption tools.
Another option is Truecrypt -- an encryption tool available for free downloading.
"This is a very powerful tool but it is hindered by the lack of central management capability," said Quin.
Companies deploying a large fleet of laptops might skip Truecrypt but the tool would be ideal for individual professionals or small businesses, he said.