IBM Unveils First Biometric ThinkPad, Requires Fingerprint Match for Access

IBM is taking computing security and data protection to the next level


IBM is taking computing security and data protection to the next level with the introduction of the first ThinkPad with an integrated fingerprint reader. ThinkPad, already the industry's most secure notebook PC (1), now features a model that delivers simplified access to password-protected personal and financial information, web sites, documents and e-mail while offering an unmatched level of data protection through its new biometric capability and embedded security subsystem.

"Today we raised the bar on security for the entire PC industry," said Fran O'Sullivan, general manager, IBM Personal Computing Division. "What was once considered science fiction is now available to all enterprises, large and small, in the notebook of choice for everyday business. The first biometric ThinkPad combines a fingerprint reader with an Embedded Security Subsystem, providing a layer of security that is built in, not bolted on. We take our customers' security into account in every aspect of our business solutions, from PCs to servers to middleware to wireless networks."

The fingerprint reader is built into select models of the ThinkPad T42. With the new reader, located on the wrist rest below the arrow keys, users swipe their finger across a small horizontally oriented sensor to log-on to their systems, software applications, web sites, or databases. The scanning process takes only seconds, combining convenience with the strongest notebook security available as a standard feature. This type of fingerprint reader captures more data than a traditional "picture" capture window because it scans more of the fingertip's surface area, helping to prevent misidentification.

"We place a huge priority on security and deployed IBM ThinkPad more than a year ago because they were the only notebooks to offer an integrated hardware and software security solution," said Shawn Nunley, director of technology development, NetScaler Inc., a networking systems company headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. "IBM's new ThinkPad with integrated fingerprint reader offers yet another level of security for us that is easy to deploy."

IBM On Demand Security Architecture and ThinkVantage Technologies
IBM also enhanced its hardware- and software-based Embedded Security Subsystem by releasing a new level of Client Security Software, Version 5.4, with a secure Password Manager, simplified ease-of-use and installation, and available by preload for the first time. The new version allows fingerprint identification and complex passphrases to be used interchangeably or in combination. The new software and the embedded security chip are seamlessly integrated with the fingerprint reader, protecting vital security information, such as encryption keys, electronic credentials and passphrases, and guarding against unauthorized user access.

The Embedded Security Subsystem is a key component of IBM ThinkVantage Technologies, a suite of tools that make ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops easier to deploy, connect, protect and support. The fingerprint reader represents only one level in a concentric set of IBM security solutions. They include servers, operating systems, identity management, middleware, web-based privacy, network access, storage, systems management and consulting solutions. These protect information in the face of external hacker threats, costly viruses and worms, e-mail spam, new wireless technologies, and the demands of government compliance.

This content continues onto the next page...