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There's a trend to bake more security into laptops, whether it's new features for Windows Vista or Seagate's new encrypted hard drives. That's why Yoggie Security Systems' approach is unusual. It's trying to take the security out--onto a USB token, to be specific.
Since January, Yoggie has offered a $220 product called Gatekeeper Pro, a USB-pluggable device that runs antivirus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, and 10 other security applications. It also can function as a sort of network key, needed to access a business network.
The Gatekeeper Pro has two interfaces through which it analyzes incoming network traffic, placing a barrier between the network and the laptop. The Gatekeeper Pro, packed with Linux, a 520-MHz Intel processor, and 128 Mbytes of memory, also keeps an image of the laptop's operating system and applications stored in its flash memory so, if the PC is attacked and corrupted, it can refresh the laptop's original settings.
The network access "key" concept might appeal to companies looking to improve security quickly, since it lets them get security software to mobile workers plus provides the two-factor authentication by requiring a person to have the USB device for access. Thieves could still make off with your laptop, but at least they wouldn't be able to get on your company's network--unless you leave the keys hanging in the USB ignition.
Return to main story, Laptop Lockdown Checklist: Four Authentication Areas To Watch
Illustration by Randy Lyhus