Firms tap encyption over complex security

Friday, 31 October 2003, 11:47 AM EST

According to a survey of customers by IBM, the most common use for its embedded security system--essentially a 'security chip' built onto its PCs and notebooks which allows certificates and other security-enabling technologies to be stored independently of a PC's memory and hard drives--is simply to encrypt files, making them less susceptible to attack if a machine falls into unfriendly hands.

Clain Anderson, program director for client security at IBM, admitted the company was a little surprised by the outcome. It had anticipated that more companies would use another potential enhancement enabled by the chip, which allows companies to discard secure hardware tokens in favor of a system which displayed the required token data on screen.

Such uses may increase on the future as people become aware of the potential of combining hardware security with software solutions. "A lot of people are turning on the security chip just for the password management features," he said.

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