Absolute Protects Sensitive Oil and Gas Exploration Data on Hundreds of Laptops Used Worldwide
Tullow Oil is a leading independent oil and gas exploration and production company, with operations in 22 countries around the world. The company has a strong presence in Africa, where it is opening up new basins and helping to establish new oil producing countries such as Ghana and Uganda, and a growing presence in Asia. Tullow Oil is headquartered in London and has a worldwide workforce of over 900. The company’s shares are listed on the London, Irish, and Ghana Stock Exchanges and the business is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
One of the most important assets for Tullow Oil is its information, especially geological information and data about new oil finds and areas of potential discovery. But, invariably the location of existing and new oil reserves is often in some of the most remote and inhospitable regions of the world where there is a high risk of theft or crime. Tullow Oil staff, who travel extensively to these regions, need to have access to this data wherever they happen to be.
Trudie Seeney, Information Systems Asset Manager says, “We have a very high proportion of staff—around 700—who regularly travel around the world. These employees require access to commercially sensitive information, so we need to do everything we can to protect it when it is outside the security of our main offices.” The company has a number of data protection measures in place, including data encryption, but it also wanted to put in place a means of securing and protecting devices especially when they are used abroad.
Since they started using Absolute, Tullow Oil has been able to protect important business data. “Absolute is now a key part of our data security measures because almost every time we’ve had a laptop stolen or mislaid, it allows us to prevent anyone from accessing the data. For a business like Tullow Oil, this capability is very important,” says Seeney.
In one instance a laptop was stolen from a car in Ghana. Almost immediately after the user reported the stolen laptop to headquarters in London, Seeney and her team were able to use Absolute to delete the data from the laptop. Via the Absolute Customer Center from her office in London, Seeney was able to launch the data delete capability which instantly wiped the hard disk of the laptop in Ghana as soon as this device connected to the web.
Absolute has also proved to be equally useful in less sinister situations. In situations when laptops have been mislaid, Absolute has been used to remotely lock the device rather than performing a data delete. This means that when the laptop has been found again it can be unlocked by an administrator. All the user’s data and settings are preserved and they avoid the trouble and delay required to get the laptop image re-built. Tullow Oil is now looking at how Absolute can be used to protect other mobile devices.
“For Tullow Oil, saving money has not really been the main issue. It is the security of knowing that wherever our laptops might be in the world, we have a solution like Absolute to protect the data on them.”