Tech Tip: Laptop and Desktop Security | Weatherhead

Tech Tip: Laptop and Desktop Security

Posted 1.2.2006

By George Klippel 

Recently on a tour of the new Freedman Center at KSL, I stumbled across a new tool for laptop and desktop computer security. It is called SecuriKey. This USB device is designed to provide another level of security in addition to what the University provides with user name/password log in. It is simple to use and works on both Macintosh and Windows PC's. In fact, this type of technology may be a glimpse into the future of how users will log in to computers and A/V systems both at home and at work.

The information below is from their website. It provides the overview of “Two-factor authentication” which is what this type of security system is about.

"Two-factor authentication" is a term used by security professionals. Simply stated, if one "factor" of authentication is your logon password, another factor needs to be presented to further prove that you are the authentic person who is allowed to logon. This second factor can be something you are (like a finger print or retinal eye scan), something you know (like an answer to a pre-determined question), or it can be something you have (like a car key, a credit card or physical token of some sort).

You can get money from your ATM machine, because it is a system that relies on two-factor authentication for security. The two factors are (1) Something you have - your ATM card and (2) Something you know - your PIN number.

You can bring this same level of security to your Windows logon with the use of the SecuriKey® Authentication System. It is a small USB "key" device called a Token that must be physically attached to your computer's USB port before you are allowed to type in your logon password. Because each SecuriKey Token is unique, you must have the correct SecuriKey Token and the correct logon password in order to access the system.

Using the SecuriKey System, if someone attempting to get at your sensitive data guesses or finds your logon password, they are still locked out of the computer because the SecuriKey token is missing. SecuriKey Two Factor Authentication provides a secure way of controlling access to your computer systems that is intuitive and easy to use, insuring that only you have access to your critical and sensitive data.”

So if you have been looking for some new technology to provide another level of security to your work or home computing environment, check out their website below. I would be interested in talking with anyone at Weatherhead who has any first-hand knowledge about this or other similar PC security devices. Feel free to contact me via email or at 368-2154.


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