Poundland has installed encryption and back-up software on all of its company laptops to secure the data they contain should they be lost or stolen.

The project was completed in December and is part of a wider data protection strategy that the retailer has embarked on in the past 12 months. It will be extended to devices in Poundland’s Hong Kong office in the new financial year.

Iron Mountain Digital has provided the systems, which ensure all data on laptops used by senior management and area managers is backed up centrally and wiped from the device if it falls into the wrong hands. A pilot was run over the summer last year and the retailer was keen to deploy both encryption and back-up systems from one vendor.

Poundland IT services manager Mo Rahman said that publicity surrounding Marks & Spencer’s discussions with the Information Commissioner’s Office last year on laptop encryption, as well as other high-profile data losses, had heightened the urgency of getting the technology in place.

He added that the investment had the backing of Poundland’s management. “The board is driving the majority of this,” he said.

Rahman added that as the retailer continues to grow, it is more of a target for people to try and steal its corporate data. Poundland opened 40 stores last year and is planning further expansion throughout 2009.

The retailer’s growth means that it is likely to embark on other technology roll-outs this year, according to Rahman. “As we grow we have to be more clued up with technology because of data growth, etc. So we will be looking at things like virtualisation from April onwards,” he said.