With the proliferation of gigabyte storage on cellphones, PDAs, MP3 players, PMPs and of course laptops, those corporate secrets and sensitive data are everywhere. So what are you poor IT bastards to do? Well, plenty, but it’s gonna cost ya.

Absolute Software’s Computrace software allows computer owners to call a hotline number that will wipe the stolen computer clean the next time it’s connected to the Internet ($100 per user for a three-year contract). Other solutions exist to delete data or lock the computer if a user enters too many failed passwords or does not login at all over a specified length of time — Beachhead Solutions will sell you their offering for $129 a year per computer. But our favorite (simply because it involves acid) data security solution is Ensconce Data Technology’s “Dead on Demand” hard drive. Configurable triggers such as removal or tampering of the drive, removal of device from a resting GPS point, cellular telephone call, or even a change in temperature will release a “chemical mist” into the drive (not the computer) destroying it layer by layer.

The drives will be available “early next year” for between $2,500 to $9,000 each. Egad! Maybe we should just go back to the kinder and gentler days of three-martini lunches and personnel tethered to mainframes.

More here.