Various news outlets are reporting what is now unfortunately a familiar story - Another batch of 'missing' computers.  In this case, it's the Los Alamos nuclear weapons laboratory in New Mexico that is reporting 67 missing computers, including 13 that were lost or stolen in the past year:

 

http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Los-Alamos-Lab-Missing-Almost-100-Computers/

 

Although Los Alamos officials claim no classified information has been compromised, there are security issues as the computers apparently contained personal information such as names and addresses.

 

Of the stolen machines, two that were taken from an employee's home weren't authorized for 'home use.'

 

This demonstrates many key points, one of which is this: It doesn't matter if you have good written policies.  If you can't effectively track machines that might be in contravention of security policies and then do something about it, then the policies aren't worth any more than the paper on which they're written.

 

Could a solution like Computrace & Intel AT-p have helped in this scenario?  Of course it could have.  Imagine if those machines were equipped with CT & AT-p.  Computrace could alert an IT Administrator if a machine was calling home from somewhere it shouldn't be - like an employees home - and AT-p could be used to administer a 'poison pill' to any machine that calls in from somewhere it doesn't belong.

 

Instead of the another round of negative publicity the they could have simply have announced that while there had been a breach of policy, it had been contained.