Lucky Number Seven

— October 01, 2006

Today, Fujitsu's newest mobile products offer seven unique security features, each stemming from needs the company saw in its primary vertical customer areas: insurance, healthcare and the financial sector. "These are the areas that are most concerned with security," says Paul Moore, Fujitsu's senior director of mobile product marketing. "Insurance, because of the personal nature of the data.

Healthcare, because of the personal nature of the data. And finance--" he pauses, with impeccable comedic timing, "because of the personal nature of the data."

Mobile Enterprise: Will you give us the rundown of the seven features?

Paul Moore: The first thing that came out were the Smart Cards. The Smart Card slot and the Smart Card support were important, and that's something you see in all of our vertical products. Then there's the BIOS and hard drive password protection. You can not only password-protect the hard drive, but if someone were to steal your system and can't get into it, and so they remove your hard drive and put it into another system, they can't get into the hard drive, because it requires a password once it's removed from the system.

Then of course you have the Window passwords, which everybody has, but you also have the Fujitsu Security Panel. The main reason we created that was, again, the verticals. We felt it was very important for customers to be able to lock down their machines, and [this asks for the password] before even allowing the OS to load. So that was pretty important, and we're the only ones to offer that.

ME: So that's three.

PM: Then came other advances, such as TPM, which is an encryption that allows you to encrypt the files on the hard drive and then keep the security within a chip, which is much harder to crack than software is.

Another security feature that's becoming standard on a lot of systems is biometrics. We initially started out with recognizing a fingerprint, but now they actually sense the peaks and valleys in the skin. So if you were to, say, file down your fingerprint, it wouldn't matter. You could still read it. Because the way that the biometrics works, it actually maps your finger, and it can tell live tissue from dead tissue.

ME: Biometrics has come a long way in the last few years, yes?

PM: Oh yeah. Until about the last two years, it was a neat way to get into your system, but it wasn't the security that you see today. It's made tremendous advancements in hardware and software.

Then there's Computrace [from Absolute Software Corporation]. It's Lojak. If someone steals your system, they can track it down. And then they can recover the system, or [over the air] they can delete certain portions of information on the hard drive that you've told them to delete in case of a threat. And lastly, there's the physical security of being able to lock it to a desk.

ME: Were many of these features born from classic security mistakes you were seeing users make?

PM: A lot of it was theft of hardware, losing information, forgetting passwords, or trying to find ways to let them use the devices in different environments. And in some instances certain solutions aren't viable--like fingerprint, if you're wearing rubber gloves, is kind of a pain in the neck. So you could deploy a Smart Card. And if you don't have a Smart Card, you could use fingerprint, or you could use password. You just need to figure out if you need to protect the physical unit, the data or a combination of both. When you work with different types of users in different environments, there are just so many different requirements.

ME: Are there still more advancements to look out for?

PM: The next thing you're going to find is hard drives that encrypt the data as you write. Those are coming out next year, and they're going to be a tremendous advantage. And the really good thing about that is, when I delete information, it's actually deleted.

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