T3 offers security on the move

The concept of being at work is changing rapidly in the information age. The rise of contract and self-employment means many people carry data with them, data that are the lifeblood of their business.

Even while most of us still work in offices, 1.2 million laptops were sold across Australia last year, which means we’re more mobile than ever before.

With that much important data lying on the back seat of the car, leaning against the chair in our bag at the pub or just sitting unattended on our desks, computer security is becoming more necessary.

Ironically, the more time-poor we are, the less time we have to employ cumbersome procedures to secure data.

Realising this, T3 has released the ideal security tool in the Security Suite.

Its cornerstone is the Security Key, a beautifully simple idea consisting of a 5cm flash USB device that operates in one of just two states — plugged in and unplugged.

After installing the Security Suite software and assigning a username and password, it quite literally becomes the key to your data.

If you leave your desk, just unplug the key and take it with you and the computer immediately locks.

If you leave the computer unattended with the key still in it for a user-specified period of time it does the same, and the only way to get back into the system is to either key in your username and password or plug the key back into a USB socket — it has the access details encoded on to it.

The Security Key also acts as an encrypted Flash disk, storing up to 512Mb of data securely for transport to another PC in your organisation.

Even if you were to try to uninstall the software to get around the Suite, it prompts you for the username and password so it will be a hard system to get around for all but the most accomplished hacker.

The $149 multi-user version has a greatly expanded admin base where a central admin user can manage five, 10 or 25 other users. Keys can be assigned and reassigned to individuals or groups, and the system can generate full reports on key access and activity.

With an endless combination of keys for multiple users, keys for multiple PCs or multiple keys for a single computer or server, the easy set-up and minimal learning curve make Security Suite a painless security methodology for any small company.

Although the Security Key is an attractive part of the package, the T3 Security Suite offers much more. Another component is the T3 Vault, a data encryption module that creates an area on your computer that denies all access except to the holder of the key.

It’s a sound idea but not one you’d want to stake your business on when you take the human element into consideration.

In a perfect world we’d never lose our car keys or forget our anniversary, but if you lose the Security Key and forget your password, whatever is locked in the virtual Vault will be gone forever, or at least until you can afford a few thousand dollars for a high-end data retrieval service.

In any event, Apple introduced a similar feature in an early version of OSX — the Data Vault.

Early rumours of a bug that reset or wiped the password and locked the data away forever frightened many people away, and it’s a risk few people who’ve suffered data loss would take again.

The suite includes plenty of spam, virus and spyware filters, but if you’re in business, you use a Windows PC and you don’t already have such systems in place you’re asking for trouble.

One aspect of the Suite T3 is really pushing is the Global Insurance coverage, which insures you for up to $US1500 ($2000) for the theft of your PC or laptop for 12 months.

As we move around in the course of our work more and more, the future of computer security in the mobile age can’t be a bulky device that manacles your computer down the way those old-style, anti-theft cables did.

More importantly it can’t be a complicated procedure or program you need to attend a four-day course to understand.

If the future is a small USB device and all you have to do is take it out and plug it in, T3 is bringing it to us early.

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