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June 2008

Embedded Security Safeguards Laptops

Secure From Within Embedded technology promises to make laptops tough targets. This spring's announcement that Intel will partner with BIOS vendor Phoenix Technologies to help implement its planned Anti-Theft Technology for Centrino-based laptops underscores the emerging role of hardware-based security, particularly in laptops and other mobile devices. Although details have yet to be announced, the partnership would leverage Phoenix's FailSafe product, which embeds policy-based protection against loss or theft in the BIOS. The idea, as with all Phoenix security technologies, is to enable security at startup, before the OS can be compromised. "Poor design of Windows leads to a lot of implementation flaws. We say when the first line of code in the BIOS executes, it sets up the secure environment for the agent," says Phoenix CTO Gaurav Banga. "We've raised the barrier against your laptop being hacked by a factor of a thousand. Security is not an afterthought but a forethought from the first election that moves on the system." ...

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