Happy Monday everyone. This year I broke with tradition and actually ventured outside of the house of Black Friday. We didn’t see too many deals, but I did manage to grab a new rolling tool chest for the garage. That was before I heard about the disgusting hoard of lowlifes that killed some poor temp worker in Long Island because he had the gall to stand between them and a plasma TV at Wal-Mart. That incident represents everything that can go wrong with a capitalist society, and this is the last year I’ll be feeding the beast with any Black Friday purchases.

Sorry, that really got to me this weekend.

Back to cybersecurity…

A friend of Any the IT Guy’s is facing a bit of a problem at work. They are replacing their PC infrastructure and are looking at building out new workstation images with a full load of security tools. One they are looking at are asset recovery/phone home tools. You know, the ones that will register their location (as best they can) if someone loses one or it’s stolen and connected to the Internet again.

No surprise, I’m not the biggest fan of these tools. Andy raises a series of questions about them:

1. Just how many systems do actually go missing every year? 2. Are they really missing or are they just not being tracked properly as they are moved, replaced, etc? 3. How many systems can they afford to lose per year before they actually see any real value in this program? 4. Can they replace any other applications with this software? Asset tracking, System Monitoring, etc 5. How much of an investment in infrastructure and personnel resources will be required to manage this program.

I prefer to use a simple algorithm to measure their value:

IF (cost of tool < ((average number laptops recovered/laptops lost) X (average value of laptop X average number laptops lost))) THEN tool != crap

Now the tool in question also sounds like a regular asset management tool that also manages software deployments, inventory, and so on. But if this feature costs extra, or you are looking at a dedicated tool, hit the vendor up with my little algorithm to measure value.