Alcatel-Lucent has unveiled an HSDPA version of its OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian (NLG).
The announcement was welcomed by attendees at the firm's forum in Paris, following the recent spate of high profile data breaches.
The NLG is a PCMCIA card that slots into a notebook and provides a range of features to help IT departments remotely secure, monitor, manage and locate mobile computers over 3G and protect the data if the device is lost or stolen.
The card has a built-in 3G modem, GPS, CPU, rechargeable battery, Flash memory and mobile Linux operating system, and uses broadband networks to let enterprises manage laptops anywhere and at anytime, even when the computer is turned off.
Ken Georgiades, assistant general manager for mobile security at Alcatel-Lucent, told vnunet.com that laptops are a "blind spot in enterprise security" and that enforcing IT policies on remote workstations can be difficult and complicated.
The concept behind the NLG is an always-on computing system which resides on the data card and operates with any broadband network, including 3G, Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
By storing encryption keys on the card itself, the device can act as an 'ignition key' for the notebook. If the card is removed or the notebook is lost or stolen without the NLG card, the laptop locks down and the data on the hard drive is secure.
If both the laptop and the card are lost or stolen, the card can be instructed remotely to wipe the encryption keys, thereby protecting any information on the device.
Running an embedded Linux OS enables third parties to develop software to utilise the capabilities of the PCMCIA card or to interoperate with the management gateway.
This can include patch management, remote back-ups, end-policy enforcement and control, and whole disk encryption applications.
"Data losses from lost or stolen laptops are plaguing companies across Europe," said Tom Burns, chief operating officer at Alcatel-Lucent's Enterprise Solutions division.
"The NLG reduces these risks while not sacrificing the significant productivity improvements that come from having mobile workers.
"The NLG is unique because it is comprehensive and always on, protecting enterprise data all the time and giving carriers differentiation and value with a strong security solution."
The OmniAccess 3500 NLG for HSDPA networks will be commercially available later this year through Alcatel-Lucent channels in Europe, primarily through service providers that will bundle it with 3G wireless Wan offerings.
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