IBM's PCs get more secure

IBM's PCs get more secure

IBM recently launched its new concept in security, Client Security Solutions (CSS), which embeds the solution right into the desktop.

The vendor's new Security Chip will be included in IBM's PC 300PL and IntelliStation packages, though the delays in Intel's 820 Camino motherboard will push back the shipment of the 300PL.

The PC chip stores a user's PIN and verification details in encrypted form on the hard disk drive. A master key embedded on the security chip decodes the information. According to IBM this offers a higher level of security than typical software solutions.

The inclusion of security as an inherent component of a PC, rather than an add on, has also driven IBM to design snap in security modules.

According to Peter Watson, manager for security and privacy services at IBM, these security snap ins are simply preconceived standard security modules, based on various e-business needs that are easily attached to a PC.

IBM is targeting the business-to-business e-commerce market with the new chip. According to IBM, this is the first technology of its kind available on the market.

The security chip is an addition to IBM's SecureWay smart card, launched last month, which is used in IBM's think pads and desktops.

The assurance PC security lends an organisation is not the chip's only benefit according to Stewart Van Graan, enterprise segment manager for commercial desktop marketing. He claims enterprises will be able to cut administration costs due to the management solutions included in the security package.

Yet CSS is not simply a PC security product. According to Watson, there are three separate elements that need to be addressed to establish a truly secure environment: validating the identity of a person, organising what part of a business a person can get into and security that fits around a business' actual transactions.

This differs from the perception the market had of security only a year ago, says Watson. `It used to be that you either were or weren't secure. Now it's recognised that there are multiple environments and technology has changed so that people can now build up security systems rather than having to install them all at once.'

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