Hewlett-Packard announced last week an enhanced version of its Mobile ProtectTools Smart Card Kit as part of the company's strategy to bolster security in its notebooks.
The HP Mobile ProtectTools Smart Card Kit 2.0 includes a smart card reader, two 128-bit encryption smart cards, and software to load the smart card reader and make a backup disk.
Designed for HP OmniBook notebooks, the kit features BIOS boot protection, which checks that the user has inserted an authorised smart card into the computer when the notebook is turned on. The kit also includes a faster encryption engine, a screen saver, and undock and resume functions, which enable the BIOS boot protection to work whether or not the system is docked.
The HP Mobile ProtectTools Smart Card Kit 2.0 is intended to offer mobile PC users greater reliability and ease of use, said Paul Morgan-Witts, a product manager at HP, in a statement.
System security is a particularly important issue for mobile users, according to HP spokeswoman Andrea Bass. "Mobile PCs are more readily stolen from the workplace," she said.
The smart card kit is targeted at HP's enterprise customers, who need reliable systems which are not going to break or be broken into, said Bass. If someone steals a notebook and tries to log in under the owner's name, the smart card reader blocks them from accessing information. "The smart card kit adds another layer of quality and security to your system," she added.