We live in a fascinating time, where the connectivity that brings us together also brings us scary cyberthreats that can compromise businesses.
Important data can be stolen, emails can be hacked, and business-critical systems can be hijacked by ransomware – all events that can stop businesses in their tracks and cause major financial and reputational damage that can take years to recover from.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Protecting against those threats is vital to any business’s long-term success, and a key component of that is securing the computers that connect to business networks.
But that can’t be done properly if those computers don’t have the right features.
Which is why there’s quite a difference between a consumer-grade notebook computer intended for general use, and one that’s meant to be used for business purposes.
Here are some tips on what makes for a good business-grade notebook.
Hardware is the key, Windows the lock
Business computers come with hardware components that make enterprise-grade security possible, whereas more mainstream notebooks don’t. They also run the most business-friendly version of Windows, Windows 10 Pro, which has been designed for business use and includes functions and features that non-Pro versions don’t have.
For starters Windows 10 Pro offers many ways to authenticate users securely. In addition to passwords and PINs (which are not as secure as they once were), people can unlock their Windows 10 Pro PCs with their faces. The feature that enables this is called Windows Hello, and it needs a webcam capable of infrared imaging to work as these are difficult to fool.
With everything in place and the user’s biometrics properly enrolled in Windows Hello, unlocking a Windows 10 Pro notebook is as easy as sitting down in front of it.
Another option is to use your fingerprint to access your Windows 10 Pro PC, which is why you’ll find business notebooks often come with built-in fingerprint readers. Reading a fingerprint only requires that the user swipe the tip of their finger over the sensor; this adds yet another layer to Windows 10 Pro’s security options and is easier than entering a PIN or remembering a complicated password while also being more secure than both of those.
Notebooks billed as suitable for business use will, more of often than not, come with either a Windows Hello-ready webcam or a fingerprint reader. The best ones come with both.
Furthermore, Windows 10 Pro includes built-in encryption (BitLocker and BitLocker To Go) that protects critical data both on a local hard drives and portable storage devices, and it has the ability to join domains, group policy management, remote desktop functionality, and much more besides.
That’s why the right hardware mix is only half the picture – Windows 10 Pro completes it.
Other nice-to-have features of a good business notebook include durability (i.e. it’s made from metal rather than plastic), excellent after-sales service and support (extended warranties, tight SLAs, and on-site next-day support), and built-in cellular modems so that they can access the internet no matter where they are.
When buying a notebook for business use, one should look to get one with as many of the options listed above as possible.
If you have to compromise on features and leave some out for budgetary reasons, make sure you get a business notebook with the following:
- Windows 10 Pro
- Fingerprint scanner
- Windows Hello-compatible infrared webcam
- A good warranty
- On-site next-day support
A business notebook with the above supports the best of Windows 10 Pro’s security features, and will be an asset to any organisation looking to secure its IT operations while also offering excellent business functionality.