According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach is $7.7 million (that's for companies with over 1,000 employees). In fact, for larger American companies, the average cyberattack costs $15 million.

Some of these hacks occur because laptops are "out in the wild" and not exactly impenetrable. Many users rely on a simple password (123456 is still the most common), but they also forget that the laptop you use for business is also important. Some have features designed to ward off criminals. If you're serious about data protection, these are the models I recommend with the most features for business users.

I've thoroughly tested this model and even dropped it at an airport once by mistake. It uses a privacy screen called Sure View that makes it impossible for hackers to glance over and see a business document, obscuring the image from an angle. Rugged enough for business (it passed military grade testing and can withstand coffee spills), the laptop has a "self-healing" BIOS that blocks malicious code from starting when you boot the laptop.

Another thin and light model with features only an IT manager could love, the 910 has a fingerprint reader and supports Microsoft Hello. Instead of typing a password, you login to Windows 10 using your finger. Microsoft stores the authentication data separate from the operating system. You can also use the fingerprint reader to secure online purchases. The "unibody" metal enclosure keeps your data safe even for business travel.

You might think a Mac is for college students or kids. This high-end model uses a feature that's been around for a while but came in handy recently. I misplaced a 13-inch model. Using iCloud.com, I was able to locate the missing laptop on a map. (You even get an alert when the MacBook Pro connects to Wi-Fi again.) Fortunately, it was at a remote office. This model also has a fingerprint reader in the Touch Bar (a secondary display above the keyboard).

What I liked most about this laptop that doubles as a Windows tablet (separating at the hinge) is that it came loaded with Dell security software that can encrypt the drive, making it extremely difficult or impossible for thieves to steal documents or financials. The laptop also use facial recognition (called Face IR) so you can unlock the computer by looking at the webcam. Security that's easy but powerful means users are more likely to avoid simple passwords.

Published on: Aug 8, 2017