Las Vegas Valley Water District
Las Vegas Valley Water District Saves Time, Money, and Stress with Absolute
The Las Vegas Valley Water District (the District) is a not-for-profit agency that has been providing water to the Las Vegas Valley since 1954. Serving over 1 million Southern Nevada residents, the District strives to supply reliable, quality water, to ensure the sustainability of their desert community, and to serve customers responsibly. Fourteen hundred full-time employees, along with over 500 temporary and contractor staff, work toward these goals.
With the organization’s laptop population exceeding 1,000 devices and a substantial portion of these operating in the field, the District’s IT team was challenged with laptop theft, the inability to efficiently recover stolen laptops, and the corresponding data security risks. Absolute was selected to help overcome these challenges and was quick to prove its capabilities as an adaptive endpoint security tool.
Theft is a principal challenge that the District faces, particularly as up to 700 of the organization’s laptops can be found in the field. Although company policy advises workers against leaving laptops in unattended vehicles, the nature of field work is often conducive to them doing so. Presenting the potential for additional loss, the organization hires a number of temporary and contract workers who will often leave the company on limited notice. The possibility of these individuals walking off with issued laptops is of concern.
The loss of a substantial number of devices, along with risk of a data breach and its financial, regulatory, and reputational consequences, made the necessity of a comprehensive security solution apparent.
“As the victim of device theft, not only do you have to absorb the financial impact of stolen assets, you are also forced to accept the risk of data security. When your devices are stolen, and you have potentially sensitive company information walking around out there, you come to realize how vulnerable you are,” explained Robert Mika, the District’s Manager of IT Support Services. “We knew that we simply did not have the capabilities to protect these laptops nor what they contained – so we turned to Absolute for help.”
Since installing Absolute, the District has experienced substantial time savings. Prior to the installation of Absolute, the recovery of stolen machines was a lengthy process and rarely successful. With little evidence to work with, authorities spent countless hours trying to identify possible leads. Today, the District can report theft in a matter of minutes and leave the rest to the Absolute Investigations team.
The possibility of former employees failing to return District laptops means that potentially sensitive information is in the hands of those who no longer have interests in the company. This instance is of particular concern when the employee leaves the organization disgruntled, and thus with the potential intent to harm. The Data Delete feature was useful in these scenarios.
The District performs Data Deletes, not only when computer theft is reported or when a laptop drifts for an extended period, but also after former employees fail to return an issued device. “Often, it’s quicker and easier to avoid a clash with past employees—I just wipe the device clean of any meaningful information and let them keep the shell,” Mika explains.
“Knowing that I have that kind of control over company data really cuts the stress out of those situations.” By tracking the usage of each laptop, The District ensures employees are compliant with existing policies, for example, ensuring employees check in with their computers for the required, monthly company-wide IT updates.
Mika also predicts that the usage reports, which provide visibility into the software and hardware configuration of each laptop, will help to shape future policy and compliance standards.