Swedish Local Authority Cuts School Laptop Theft by 85% with Absolute
Kristinehamns Kommun is the local authority for the town of Kristinehamn on the shores of Lake Värmland in south west Sweden. The authority provides a range of local services to Kristinehamn’s 24,000 residents. One of its main functions is education, supporting 13 senior schools and 18 junior schools, serving around 4,000 students.
One of Kristinehamns Kommun’s roles is to provide Integrated Computer Technology (ICT) services to schools. In 2010, the authority launched an IT programme to provide every senior school student and teacher with a laptop to enhance learning. These devices are used for school work, information research and communicating with staff and other students.
The aim was to provide students with a computer for their senior school life and allow them to use the device outside as well as inside school. But the benefits and unrestricted mobile use of laptops presented Kristinehamns Kommun with a security problem.
Once the laptops had been distributed, the authority found there was a growing problem with lost and stolen devices. During the initial two-year period, 1,500 laptops were deployed and around 52 of them disappeared resulting in a potential loss in hardware costs of about $72,000. Most devices were never recovered—and although insurance was in place it did not always cover the loss or theft since the authority could not ensure laptops were properly secured outside the school environment.
Kristinehamns Kommun's objective was to reduce lost and stolen devices.
The authority also looked at two or three alternative solutions but none of them could offer the capability or level of protection that Absolute provides.
Kristinehamns Kommun is now installing Absolute across its fleet of 2,200 laptops. More than half of the laptops are protected with Absolute, with other older devices scheduled for activation when they are replaced. One of the authority’s most effective strategies has been to tell everyone using the laptops about Absolute and how it can be used to trace and recover a lost or stolen device, even when the hard disk has been re-formatted. Örnstedt believes this has had a dramatic impact, with a reduction in laptop theft of more than 85%.
After Absolute was rolled out, around 6 devices were either lost or stolen. Absolute was used to successfully recover every device, some within a couple of days. A recent incident involved a break-in and the theft of a laptop that occurred at a school on a Wednesday evening. Absolute was used to recover and return the device to the authority by the following Tuesday.
Kristinehamns Kommun is beginning to use some of the other features of Absolute. One student left school and forgot to return their laptop. The authority used Absolute to freeze the device and send a message to the student who promptly returned it.