by Susan Twombly, May 2008
Carolyn: Today’s work environment is more open then ever. There are kiosks in very public places and office cubicles where anyone can walk up to a PC, insert removable media and copy any information from that PC – or the network it’s connected to.
And, people are getting more creative with how they do it. In addition to CDs, they’re using thumb drives or personal media players that slip quickly into a pocket after stealing data. It’s become so prevalent, there’s been a name coined for it: “pod slurping.”
When people think about PC security, most think about a notebook, sitting vulnerable in an airport. But we’re finding that additional risk exists on desktop PCs that are never meant to leave the office.
Carolyn: A lot, actually. Certainly, you need to have firewalls and antivirus software on each desktop. In addition, we have the HP ProtectTools security software suite, which offers different levels of protection to help prevent data loss. Two solutions really target the most pressing desktop security needs: Drive Encryption for HP ProtectTools and Device Access Manager for HP ProtectTools.
Carolyn: Well, Drive Encryption for HP ProtectTools has the industry’s only full volume encryption software to come as a standard feature on a PC. In fact, it’s now pre-installed on the dc7800 series of HP business desktop PCs. It’s also available as an add-on option with the new dc5800 and dc5850 series of HP business PCs for just $20. Some competitive solutions run well above $100.
With Drive Encryption, you can encrypt everything on your hard drive, so it’s unreadable to unauthorized users. When you turn your PC on, you log in on the first screen that appears – prior to the standard operating system log-in. With this pre-boot authorization, the operating system won’t even start up unless you present the correct password. And, your data remains encrypted until you open a file.
Carolyn: Exactly. It’s also a great way to protect data if the desktop is stolen. Even if the hard drive is moved to another machine – or even if they take it to a recovery center and try to steal the data – it stays encrypted unless you present the correct password.
Carolyn: Yes, it can. To extend these security benefits, you can add the remote drive encryption capabilities of McAfee Endpoint Encryption. It’s been fully qualified by HP and it integrates with Drive Encryption for HP ProtectTools, which happens to be the client version of the McAfee software. You can’t get that client version alone from any other PC provider without buying the full suite.
Carolyn: Remember I mentioned people copying data onto thumb drives or personal media players? With Device Access Manager, you can lock out the use of external storage devices, allowing only authorized users to copy and store data. You can control that based on a range of profiles – by individual users or user types, or by individual devices or device class. And, it can all be done remotely.
Carolyn: Don’t become the next news story about data theft. Be proactive about desktop PC security to keep both your business and your data safe.