January 30, 2024
3 Min Read
The great thing about laptops is their mobility – work and school can be continued whenever and wherever you may be. The not-so-great thing about laptops is their mobility – they can be easily stolen. The high cost of stolen hardware is a definite concern for most organizations as they supply a growing mobile workforce and, in the case of schools, provide all students with personal devices. But more important than the cost of the device is the value of the data found on the device.
When it comes to managing your devices, and more specifically, stolen laptops, Absolute customers have an important resource to lean on. The Absolute Investigations Team consists of former law enforcement professionals who are trained to help navigate the circumstances of stolen property and recover stolen laptops. They rely on Absolute’s firmware-embedded Persistence® technology, enabling a permanent digital tether that intelligently and dynamically applies visibility, control, and self-healing capabilities to endpoints, applications, and network connections.
No matter where the device is located, it is possible to swiftly lock, freeze, or remotely wipe a device if it falls into the wrong hands. These capabilities are a critical component of an organization’s overall cyber resilience.
Here are a few of the investigator’s recent global recovery highlights:
An employee of a government agency in Atlanta, Georgia was the victim of a car burglary and one item that was stolen was a work laptop. Absolute investigators were notified by the office and immediately went to work. Using forensic tools, investigators could see the new user was using social media, shopping, and loading money onto an inmate’s jail account. The shipping address used for the online shopping gave investigators a location which was corroborated by forensic tools. After contacting local law enforcement, it became apparent the device changed locations, and users. Investigators obtained the new user’s information, determining it was someone who used to live in the same residence and shared that with police detectives. Law enforcement secured the device from this new user, and it has been returned to the government agency.
Students in a school outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana are provided with devices and the policy is each must be returned at the end of every school year. One student failed to return the device, even after all the steps the school took to reclaim their devices. Absolute investigators were notified, and forensic tools determined the device was being used by someone outside of the school network. When approached by school officials, the student denied having the device or sharing their credentials with anyone. Digging deeper, investigators could see it was being used inside the student’s home. With the next step being law enforcement notification, the school principal again called the student to inform the family of what would happen next. They returned the device to the school.
A laptop was stolen out of an office of a residential construction company in Indiana. Absolute investigators were notified and shortly thereafter, the device was activated by the new user. They were purchasing goods off Amazon, ordering prescriptions, and conducting online banking. Investigators detailed all this information in an investigative summary for law enforcement officials but given their limited bandwidth and the fact that the new user was some distance away, police detectives explained they would be unable to go and retrieve the device in a timely manner. Absolute then suggested implementing a device freeze along with a message for the new user that the device needed to be returned to local authorities. The laptop was disabled which prompted the new user to drive the device to law enforcement, who then promptly returned it to the construction company.
For more than 15 years, Absolute Investigations have helped organizations recover their stolen devices. Made up of former law enforcement professionals and other experts, Absolute Investigations uses forensics tools and techniques to locate devices at large and once found, they connect with local law enforcement to orchestrate their safe return. Learn more here.
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