HP reveals security initiatives
By Michael Kanellos
Staff Writer, CNET
October 5, 1998, 3:05 p.m. PT

Hewlett-Packard rolled out a new initiative to make it easier for
corporate customers to adopt security technology today and enhanced the
performance of its Vectra VL desktops. 

The HP ProtectTools program is the company's initiative to popularize the
use of smart cards and other security/management technology with corporate
customers, according to Achim Kuttler, product marketing manager for
commercial desktops at HP. 

These technologies already exist in the marketplace, but customers have
yet to adopt them in large numbers, he said. Only around 10 percent of HP
customers, for example, have adopted HP's TopTools desktop management
system, which allows IT managers to shut down, update, or monitor PC use
from a central location. 

ProtectTools essentially exists to take the pain out of the adoption
process. "We need to provide the resources and means to create a managed
environment," he said. "ProtectTools is not a product. It is more of an

Under a new smart card program, HP is working with Gemplus and
Schlumberger to create sites that will explain the benefits and procedures
for incorporating smart card readers into a PC network. 

With a smart card, a PC becomes virtually impenetrable to outside attack.

A smart card does NOT make a PC "virtually impenetrable". Smart cards
are not 100% secure to begin with, and further, implementation is the key.
If it is used for remote identification, a new range of attacks are possible.

While more secure than standard password-based access systems, smart card
security systems have not sold in huge numbers. HP itself used to offer a
Brio system with a smart card reader built in, but discontinued it, said

HP is also in the process of ramping up a consulting offering that will
ease the process of adopting its TopTools system, said sources. Kuttler
said that HP has been working with a limited number of partners to expand
the use of TopTools in the U.S.  and that it's likely the program will

Compaq is said to be working on a similar consulting program for its own
manageability software, said sources.