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My security. My notebook. The latest from Fujitsu PC Australia

  • 14 November, 2005 12:19

<p>Whether you are a corporate professional, student, or home user, notebook security should be the top-of-mind concern when choosing a notebook. The greater the level of security, the greater will be the level of personal comfort and satisfaction. As notebook PCs are more susceptible to theft with the misuse and loss of data compared to desktop PCs, securing your notebook is an essential must for every owner. From the common file viruses to more sophisticated worms and Trojan horses, every notebook owner urgently needs to explore and understand virus threats and prevent oneself from these attacks.</p>
<p>Most people believe that by equipping their notebooks with popular antivirus software such as Norton AntiVirus, BitDefender, Norman*, McAfee, and Symantec, this is sufficient enough to protect their notebooks against these malicious viruses. Think again! When there is more than one way where you can lose your notebook or passwords, more safety measures have to be in place to protect your assets and data.</p>
<p>Software security is not the only form of protection that notebook owners should be concerned with. Physical theft is one of the most commonly reported incidents in the case of theft and fraud involving computers. According to a newsletter written in 2002 by Search Security, it was identified that over 60% of all corporate data assets reside unprotected on PCs. Bearing this in mind, there is a major security concern for all notebook owners – corporate and individual.</p>
<p>Many professionals and consumers do not realise how serious a threat these physical thefts can pose. Confidential personal information stored on hard drives including medical records and financial transactions are of great worth to thieves as they can be used to blackmail and easy accessing to bank accounts. Sensitive corporate information is also highly susceptible to theft, especially as they contain information such as customer contacts, research and development details, business directions, financial and staff records are at great risk of being stolen.</p>
<p>"With the growing ease of notebooks being stolen and hacked into, gone are the days where anti-virus programmes, VPN firewalls and physical locks sufficed as security measures for notebooks owners", said Mr Adrian Mead, Manager, Australia and New Zealand Operations. "All notebook owners should secure their notebooks not only on the software level, but from hardware and physical thefts as well. With the wide variety of security options available in the marketplace, notebook users can rest assure that their notebooks are well protected".</p>
<p>How can I secure my notebook?</p>
<p>If you asked the average Joe what he should do to secure his notebook, a commonly predictable answer would be the Kensington lock, which is a famous standard for computer locks developed by the Kensington Technology Group. Although an effective form of hardware protection, it is not enough to withstand the threatening host of viruses. Notebook manufacturers are increasingly paying attention in developing enhanced security features and instilling efforts to educate the mainstream consumers. What are the options available in the marketplace today? Let's explore the possibilities:</p>
<p>1. Security Panel</p>
<p>Available only on certain notebook models such as the Fujitsu LifeBook E8000 series, the security panel or LifeBook Lock serves as an anti-theft protection system for notebook owners. Depending on the number of panel buttons, the code will consist of a series of panel button combinations that the user creates, requiring them to physically press to activate the power-up of the notebook each time upon starting and resuming from suspend mode. This unique feature is available for corporate and personal users to protect against any unauthorised entry.</p>
<p>2. Down to the Chip with BIOS</p>
<p>The BIOS is a brilliant invention as it contains all the codes required to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives serial communications, and a number of miscellaneous functions. Users can be assured with this form of system protection, as a system boot up password will be prompted each time the system starts up. The BIOS is placed on a ROM (read-only memory) chip that comes with the computer and ensures that the BIOS will always be available and not damaged by any disk failures.</p>
<p>3. Protect your Data with Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Security</p>
<p>The HDD security helps safeguard the hard drive from any possible unauthorised use of data stored in the hard drive. What this means is that in the event of hardware theft and the hard disk drive is transferred to another notebook, files and folders will not be intruded upon as a password is required to "unlock" the hard disk drive to gain access to the data. This password is a combination of eight alphanumeric characters which ensures a greater level of security.</p>
<p>4. Safeguard with Trusted Platform Module (TPM)</p>
<p>Fujitsu offers the TPM option in the corporate models of the LifeBook E8000, S7000 and T4000 series. TPM is targeted towards corporate users as it maintains the privacy of the owner by protecting sensitive data stored in the hardware, authenticating the platform, and protecting any unauthorised use of digital signatures and random number and key generations. This hardware device enhances the security level of the hardware and operating system based on a trusted computing platform.</p>
<p>5. The Touch of Security</p>
<p>As more customer-oriented activities such as banking, shopping, and the reading of newspapers have shifted towards the online presence; consumers often have numerous passwords to remember. The fingerprint authentication featured on models such as the LifeBook S and P series, is a system that offers a secure way of protecting personal systems while eliminating the need to remember numerous passwords. With the simple swipe of a pre-registered fingerprint onto the sensor, users can effortlessly log into webpages and access encrypted files and folders.</p>
<p>What can we expect for the future of notebook security?</p>
<p>With the ease of notebooks being stolen and hacked into, the unauthorised use of notebook data can strike anytime, anywhere. Being aware of the diverse range of security options including security panels, BIOS, HDD security, TPM, and fingerprint authentication; this will allow consumers to protect their notebook systems. The possibilities of notebook security remain endless with technologies such as voice detectors, retina scanners and even palm vein authentication, notebook users can be assured that their notebooks and secured documents are well taken care of.</p>

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