New Feature of Computrace by Absolute Software Enables IT Administrators to Use SMS to Tell Computers to 'Phone Home'
Vancouver, Canada: January 19, 2010 – Absolute® Software Corporation (“Absolute” or the “Company”) (TSX: ABT), the leading provider of firmware-based, patented, computer theft recovery, data protection and IT asset management solutions, today announced that Computrace® enables IT administrators to send commands to computers via SMS, as well as the internet, for faster mitigation of potential data breaches due to lost or stolen computers.
The new feature from Absolute Software, called Monitoring Center Initiated Calling (MCIC), offers Computrace commercial customers the ability to force a Computrace Agent call to happen as soon as possible, instead of waiting for the routine check-in call. The command to phone home is done by SMS. IT administrators can use MCIC so that they can remotely execute Computrace functionality, including location tracking, deletion of sensitive data, and Intel® Anti-Theft Technology locking.
“Now that Computrace can force the Computrace Agent to phone home, Absolute commercial customers have another tool in their arsenal to respond in near real-time to potential data breach incidents,” said John Livingston, CEO and chairman of Absolute Software. “In addition, the Absolute Theft Recovery Team can leverage SMS capabilities to help recover SMS-enabled computers even faster.”
Prior to general release, Qualcomm worked with Absolute to beta test MCIC with their Gobi™ wireless module. “Qualcomm is a technology partner and a customer of Absolute Software. We rely on the secure asset tracking®, data protection and, when needed, professional theft recovery services offered by Absolute Software to secure our data and assets,” said Matthew Clark, senior director of information technology at Qualcomm. “Now, in conjunction with Computrace technology by Absolute Software, Gobi-equipped notebooks and netbooks can be more secure.”
“Research has shown that the sooner you discover a lost laptop, the costs associated with that loss are lower,” added Livingston. “According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a lost laptop is just over $49,000. But, if a company discovers the loss in the same day, the average cost is reduced to less than $9,000. Computrace is the only solution that enables IT and compliance staff to detect a missing computer and take action to secure that computer as well as any sensitive information it may contain.”
How Computrace Solutions Work
The Computrace Agent that powers Absolute Software solutions is embedded in the firmware of computers right at the factory or it can be installed by the customer.* Embedded in the firmware of a computer, the stealthy Computrace Agent is capable of surviving operating system re-installations, as well as hard-drive reformats, replacements and re-imaging. The Agent can be activated by customers when they purchase a subscription with terms ranging from one to four years.
The Agent regularly contacts the Absolute Monitoring Center – sending location and IT asset management information that is accessible via the Absolute Customer Center web portal. Customers can log in to the Absolute Customer Center to access that information, manage their IT asset population, run reports, remotely delete data and plot the location of their computers and mobile devices on a map.
If a computer is stolen, the Absolute Theft Recovery Team can use location information sent by the computer and forensically mine it using a variety of procedures including user input captures, registry scanning, file scanning, geolocation, and other investigative techniques to determine who has the computer and how it is being used. Absolute then works with local law enforcement to help recover the computer.
Availability & Pricing
Monitoring Center Initiated Calling will be available by end of January for no additional fee with all Computrace solutions by Absolute Software on computers running a supported Microsoft Windows OS. The ability to send MCIC commands via SMS is available for computers with a supported mobile broadband adaptor, such as the Qualcomm Gobi module, with an active broadband provider subscription. Computers must be turned on in order for commands to be received. If the computer is off, the command is received at the next boot.
* For a complete list of firmware-supported computers, click here.