IBM Locks Up Lead in PC Security

Feb 16, 2005

IBM today built on nearly six years of leadership and innovation in PC security by announcing three new security technologies for its industry-leading ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops, including new biometric fingerprint options, data encryption solutions and embedded notebook traceability tools.

The availability of these new technologies follows results last week from IBM's 2004 Global Business Security Index Report, which provided new details about the spread of viruses and worms and their impact on users and IT departments.

Since 1999, when IBM announced the industry's first PC with an Embedded Security Subsystem, IBM has literally set the security standards for other PC companies to emulate. A founding member of the Trusted Computing Group, an industry standards body for security, IBM is focused on developing the industry's most innovative and secure PCs. In 2005, IBM will extend its previously announced biometric security solutions by expanding the availability of integrated fingerprint readers more widely among ThinkPad notebooks, and offering new fingerprint reader options for ThinkCentre desktops and ThinkPad notebooks, all of which make it one of the industry's largest suppliers of biometric-equipped PCs. Other additions to its security portfolio for ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops include new data encryption solutions and enhanced anti-theft technologies.

"Every PC user recognizes that security threats are increasing in volume and complexity," said Clain Anderson, program director for wireless and security solutions, IBM Personal Computing Division. "Our solution is to provide an even stronger, multi-layered set of security tools that builds on IBM industry leadership."

Biometric Security Authentication
The new IBM Preferred Pro USB Fingerprint Keyboard and IBM USB Fingerprint Reader offer biometric solutions to authentication, providing one of the most secure log-in processes available. The new keyboard and reader offer users the convenience to gain access to confidential files with the swipe of a finger, rather than typing passwords for many applications. IBM began offering a built-in fingerprint reader in the ThinkPad T42 notebook in October 2004, and these new security solutions extend biometrics to ThinkCentre desktops and to other ThinkPad models. They also work together with IBM's patented Embedded Security Subsystem, available on select models, to provide a multi-layered approach that exceeds the capability of many software-only solutions. The IBM Preferred Pro USB Fingerprint Keyboard, priced at $99, and the IBM USB Fingerprint Reader, priced at $69, will be available on February 28, 2005 at www.ibm.com.

Data Encryption and Security
In response to demand for improved data security, IBM worked with Utimaco, a leader in enterprise information security, to announce SafeGuard PrivateDisk, a tool that generates an encrypted "virtual" disk drive that serves as an electronic safe for the secure encryption and storage of sensitive data -- on local hard disks, network drives, and all removable media. This software enables customers to back up, save and encrypt data on removable media without worry that, if lost or stolen, important information would be compromised. SafeGuard PrivateDisk further compliments SafeGuard Easy, a full hard-drive encryption product previously announced by IBM. The new tool is also integrated with IBM's embedded security chip, offering users even more data security protection. In conjunction with these offerings, IBM and Utimaco have signed a global alliance agreement for joint marketing of PC encryption solutions.

Two versions of SafeGuard PrivateDisk will be available; the Personal Edition that is designed for small and medium-sized businesses and the Enterprise Edition, which with its extended configuration and distribution options, is designed to meet the needs of larger organizations. SafeGuard PrivateDisk-Personal Edition will be available for free web download for IBM customers at www.ibm.com starting March 1, 2005.

PC Theft Recovery and Asset Tracking Solutions
To help organizations overcome the security risks associated with remote, mobile and desktop computer loss, IBM worked with Absolute Software to integrate a new version of Absolute's Computrace solution with the BIOS firmware of new ThinkPad notebooks, making IBM the only vendor to embed the anti-theft traceability tool in the hardware of the PC. In the event that a user's ThinkPad notebook or ThinkCentre desktop is stolen, Absolute guarantees its recovery, and at the user's request, can remotely delete sensitive data from the stolen computer if data privacy is a concern. If the computer is not recovered within 30-60 days, the user may be eligible for a Recovery Guarantee payment of up to $1,000. Additionally, Absolute provides users with a cost-effective solution for tracking computer location, providing computer hardware/software inventories, managing lease returns and enabling software title tracking and license compliance. IBM ThinkPad notebooks preloaded with Absolute's Computrace technology will be available later this month.

At RSA 2005, IBM PC Division is demonstrating new security technologies and the new T43 with integrated fingerprint reader, announced in late January.

Explore further: Sony wooing Japanese to PS4 with Dragon Quest

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