How Safe Is Your Data?
Written on June 27, 2012.
Data is a way of life. In an Internet minute, there will be 30 hours of video posted to YouTube, 100,000 Tweets, and 6,000,000 Facebook page views – all in a single minute. And all this data is persistent.
Then there’s the data that’s on hard drives. Even when you wipe your hard drive clean, ghost images of that data remain, which is why Wired magazine featured the Ideal 0101 Hard Drive Punch as the most dangerous item in the office. The Ideal 0101 punctures hard drives with a hardened, nickel-plated metal bolt to ensure that the contents of your will never be accessed again.
That’s great when you’re recycling during a PC refresh cycle, but keeping your data safe on a day-to-day basis is probably a bigger worry for you and your clients. That’s why Intel is so focused on the hardware-assisted security features of the 3rd gen Intel Core vPro processor family. Within each connected computer system, Intel has created a powerful, tightly integrated security stack beginning with the bottom-most layer of silicon, and working up from there.
This is different because from a security perspective, hardware has typically played the role of bystander. Most of the anti-malware prevention, detection, and remediation has been handled by software in the operating system, applications, or services layers. But that old approach is no longer adequate as software layers have become more easily circumvented or corrupted. A rootkit attack, for example, could locate itself between the OS layer and the hardware layer and gain access and control of the entire system and its resources at a privileged level, while avoiding detection by the system administrator.
With hardware-assisted security, CPUs and chipsets assist the security software in doing its job. Using technologies such as Intel Virtualization Technology, the hardware can create an environment where the security software can be isolated and protected from the OS itself, which is important because the corruption and control of the OS is the prime goal of many threats.
Within this trusted, isolated environment, the security software – assisted by the hardware – can monitor, maintain, and repair corruptions to the OS and applications that lie above it, and can continue operating when the device or computer is sleeping.
Of course, Intel is continually innovating: I already told you about Intel Identity Protection, and with Intel® Advanced Encryption Standard-New Instructions (Intel® AES-NI) your clients can run data encryption up to four times faster and you can remotely unlock encrypted drives that require pre-boot authentication and manage data security settings, even when the PC is off. While it won’t make the Ideal 0101 Hard Drive Punch obsolete, it will make the data your clients currently use much, much safer.
Eric Townsend is Director of MSP and SMB Marketing for Intel Corporation. You can contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org.