Gateway Brings LoJack Technology to Laptops

Jack M. Germain,
newsfactor.com
Tue Aug 9, 2:53 PM ET

In an effort to curtail both data loss and laptop theft, Gateway (NYSE: GTW - news) has integrated two security technologies into its line of professional notebook computers. One is Absolute Software's Computrace technology; the other is the computer industry's latest hardware security standard, called Trusted Platform Module, or TPM.

"Securing the data on notebook PCs is one of the toughest challenges for I.T. professionals, and with the proliferation of mobile computing across all business segments, the threat of data loss and network breaches through theft of notebooks has never been greater," said William Diehl, vice president of product marketing at Gateway.

Diehl said thieves quickly will learn what this new security system means and will decide against stealing equipment that uses the antitheft technology. "By embedding Gateway's Mobile Theft Protection Solution and TPM 1.2 into the PC, we are able to provide CIOs with the investment protection and data security they need in a solution that lowers the cost of ownership and is easy to deploy and support," he said.

Double Threat Protection

Absolute Software's Computrace in a laptop works much like the automotive industry's product for finding stolen vehicles. Sometimes called LoJack for Laptops, Computrace is a small software client that resides on the hard drive of the host computer. Once activated, it sends a homing signal to a monitoring center and reports its location using any Internet connection.

In theory, Computrace resembles the auto industry's device, said Bryan Sherlock, public relations manager for Gateway. "The only difference is that when a car is stolen, the authorities are called and the device is activated and tracked," he explained. "With notebooks, it takes the perpetrator to log in to the Web for activation to begin. Once this occurs, data is erased and the authorities are notified to their location and apprehended."

Absolute Software guarantees the recovery of the computer within 60 days or provides a recovery-guarantee payment of up to US$1,000.

"The value placed on today's computing assets has made theft prevention and recovery software an imperative tool," said John Livingston, chairman and CEO of Absolute Software, adding that some 700,000 computers in the U.S. are stolen annually. "Integration of Computrace in Gateway's Mobile Theft Protection Solution helps ensure the new lineup of professional notebooks remains safe and secure," he said.

Gateway officials said the Mobile Theft Protection Solution also can be used by I.T. departments to monitor system configurations and software loads. This can make the technology useful in identifying unsupported applications and unauthorized memory or hard-drive installations.

TPM Security Standard

The other technology that Gateway has implemented, called the Trusted Platform Module, is a hardware-based security standard designed to help users encrypt data and manage passwords more effectively. It also provides secure authentication for network access by storing keys or digital certificates.

Gateway officials said TPM provides a greater security environment than passwords or other software-based technologies. TPM technology is said to be impervious to cracking.

Gateway's Mobile Theft Protection Solution is available now on the company's full line of professional notebooks. Customers must activate the service, which starts at $125 for three years of coverage.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20050809/tc_nf/37706


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