Ericsson and Intel lock down laptops

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Ericsson and Intel lock down laptops

Intel and Ericsson are teaming up to help make laptops more secure by ensuring that Ericsson's mobile broadband modules are interoperable with Intel's anti-theft PC protection technology.

This collaboration means that in the event of a notebook being lost or stolen, the data on the device can be protected, thereby minimising the potential impact of the incident.

The system will allow an IT manager to send a message via SMS to the mobile broadband module inside the notebook, which in turn securely transfers the message to Intel's anti-theft function inside the processor platform, setting off the appropriate action, usually to lock the device down completely.

Similarly, should the device be recovered, an unlock message can be sent that makes the data accessible again.

"We have entered a new era for security for the on-the-go business person in which losing a notebook or having it stolen can have disastrous implications," said George Thangadurai, director of Intel's Strategy and Platform Planning Group, and general manager of the company's Anti-Theft Program.

"Intel's Anti-Theft PC Protection technology takes notebook security to a new level, making notebook theft for profit an exercise in futility. By teaming with Ericsson, we are extending the benefits of Intel Anti-Theft PC Protection to those who use mobile broadband networks."

The theft management service can also take advantage of built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) technology in the Ericsson mobile broadband module, which can send location data to a central server. The location function can be used to send out an alert when the notebook is moved outside a pre-defined area - a so-called geo-fence.

Intel's anti-theft technology can also detect other potential risk situations, such as repeated login failures and expiration of a timer that requires regularly scheduled connection to a central server, and respond according to predefined IT policies.

Because the Intel technology operates at a processor level, when a loss or theft is detected the boot process can be completely locked, rendering the laptop useless. When working in conjunction with third-party encryption hardware or software, it can also protect data by deleting cryptographic keys or similar essential code for decryption.

The combined platform is scheduled for commercial availability in data protection products from the second half of next year.
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