Feeds

PC card gives notebook thieves the finger

That means: fingerprint security for laptops

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Toshiba has moved a touch closer to the future as depicted by sci-fi films with the release of a fingerprint reader for notebooks. The imaginatively titled Fingerprint Reader is a PC card and will fit into any Type II slot.

A fingerprint reader is nothing new but Toshiba claims this one is the best so far for security as it works at the BIOS level, rather than on top. It works like this: buy one (available now) for £155, stick it in your PC slot.

The reader (pictured below) will be held within the notebook apparently, so no risk of snapping it off or gashing your leg, and will pop out when needed. Notebook asks for ID and you put your preferred digit on the reader. It scans it and away you go.

What if you cut off/burn your finger and need to email the hospital/your boss? The reader can accept up to four fingerprints, so you could use one of your functioning fingers or get your wife to open it up.

What if the company that owns the notebook wants access? You can also have a BIOS password for network administrators. Does this defeat the whole point? No, because sys admin don't need simple words like the rest of us do - they can function on 20-digit number and letter passwords.

Toshiba's product manager for the reader gave us the following sales pitch: "It is faster, more secure and more convenient. Your fingerprint is also unique. Larger companies in particular have asked for this sort of device - they want a biometric solution."

A good aspect of this that Toshiba ought to push harder is that the reader can also be used to allow (or prevent) access to applications within the OS. In fact, if Toshiba are to be believed, the software that comes with the reader - BioLogon - is very flexible and a fingerprint can be used for as many or as few password-restricted areas as you like.

Another advantage/disadvantage depending on how scatty you are is that an individual PC card will only work with a particular notebook (obvious we know, but worth mentioning). So there you have it. ®

Toshiba's fingerprint reader PC card

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.