Green-ITInnovationSecuritySoftwareWorkspace

Toshiba’s Secure, Energy-Efficient Laptops Tap IBM Software

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

At the IBM Pulse 2012 conference, Toshiba announced Tivoli endpoint management is embedded in its latest business PCs

IBM and Toshiba announced that Toshiba’s new line of enterprise laptop PCs will be integrated with IBM software, providing energy management and advanced endpoint security protection.

Toshiba plans to sell the enterprise PCs ranges and its integrated package globally in mid-2012, the company said at the IBM Pulse 2012 conference here.

Ongoing strategy

“All of the business PCs we are planning will have this,” said Norimasa Nakamura, senior manager of the Products Management Division at Toshiba, who spoke at a press conference on the news.

“This new partnership is taking a new generation of PCs and infusing them with endpoint-management capabilities right down to the BIOS,” said Scott Hebner, vice president of marketing for IBM’s Tivoli brand.

IBM officials said with the growing use of laptops by organisations, there are several important factors to consider, including the emerging 24/7 work environment that requires many users to keep laptops running around the clock – not always in power-saving modes. Stolen laptops are also one of the biggest causes of data breaches to organisations in 2011, the company said. This directly relates to laptops that contain confidential data requiring higher security measures to protect them if stolen or misplaced. Multiply this behaviour across all employees in an organisation, and the security risks, energy costs and environmental impacts rise.

To address this, Toshiba and IBM jointly developed a better way to manage energy use and secure data in laptops. Toshiba’s new line of enterprise laptop PCs will combine IBM software based on its Tivoli Endpoint Manager and Toshiba’s enhanced BIOS feature to allow IT managers to apply a company’s specific policies for energy controls and security across PCs within an organisation.

With this application, energy usage data is measured by the PC hardware, which allows more accurate readings of power consumption. This design allows the IT staff to remotely apply each group of PCs into specific power-saving modes or make peak-shift management changes as needed to deliver better energy-efficiency gains.

Nakamura said the new PCs can use up to 47 percent less energy than other PCs.

To provide better security, the Toshiba laptop PC with the IBM software provides a patch-management capability that automatically adapts necessary patches with minimum impact for network bandwidth and IT staff’s workload. A single patch-management server can support up to 250,000 PCs, shortening patch times and updates without losing PC functionality, even over low-bandwidth or globally distributed networks.

Secured by authentication

The new PCs equipped with the endpoint-management software provide access control to data, which prevents PCs from starting up, being logged on and being screen-unlocked unless the PCs are authenticated by the management server. When a PC has no connection to the server, the USB portable memory with the signature file can be used to authenticate the PC instead of the server.

IT staff can protect the stored data by preventing a third party from operating a laptop that is lost or stolen. In addition, the computers can be prohibited from writing to external storage and printing when the PC is not authenticated against the management server.

“IBM’s endpoint-management capabilities combined with Toshiba’s BIOS and power-saving technologies allow for superior energy and security controls,” Taro Hiyama, chief marketing executive for the Digital Products and Services Company at Toshiba, said in a statement. “Starting with these controls, Toshiba’s goal is to continually integrate value-added device-management functions in its enterprise laptop PCs used in the IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager solution. IBM software helps us accomplish this goal.”

IBM combines endpoint and security management into a single product with the Tivoli Endpoint Manager to allow IT managers to visualise and manage physical and virtual endpoints. Organisations can better secure and manage their IT assets and gain visibility, control and automation into their most time-intensive IT tasks, such as patch management and asset inventory, IBM said.

“As endpoint devices, such as laptops, proliferate inside and outside an organisation, it’s important that the right security and management policies are in place, no matter where the device is located,” Daniel Sabbah, general manager of IBM Tivoli Software, said in a statement. “IBM software embedded into Toshiba laptops allows organisations to easily oversee these devices to help manage energy efficiency and security of the data that resides on them.”

How much do you know about microprocessors? Take our quiz!