TechRepublic members who took our recent office security survey reported having few actual losses of either desktop or laptop computers, but that fact isn’t stopping IT support pros from working to safeguard their investments.

As you might expect, since laptops are more portable than desktop computers, they are also more commonly stolen. But inventory numbers alone would suggest otherwise. Comparatively, there are many more desktops in the office than laptops, but according to our survey, laptops were reported missing almost twice as often as desktops. (See Figure A.)

Figure A

The majority of survey respondents believe they are working in fairly secure buildings, but improving building security is still high on their wish lists for this year’s budgets.

To support their security objectives, respondents plan to spend money in the coming year on asset management software, along with inventory tagging and logging schemes. (See Figure B.)

Inventory tagging and logging are already the most popular methods for physically securing both laptops and desktops. The survey results show that, while both depend on inventory measures, the greatest difference between securing laptops and desktops is that desktops are typically guarded by building security, while signed user-responsibility statements are usually used to secure laptops. (See Figure B.)

Figure B

Despite the risks of losing laptops away from the office, the real danger of loss or theft lies closer to home. According to our survey, the number one place for computer theft is on corporate grounds, proving that IT pros are right to want to keep building security a priority in their budgets. The good news is that the survey showed that total losses were generally less than $10,000. (See Figure C.)

Figure C

Taking a bite out of crime

How doggedly are you trying to secure your desktop and laptop computers? What is the biggest security issue at your corporate headquarters and satellite offices? Share your thoughts on physical security by posting a comment below or sending us a note.