Security vendor Check Point has released a USB stick-based software solution that promises to turn a standard computer into a locked-down corporate desktop.
The application, dubbed Abra, provides users access to company e-mail, files and applications anywhere (offline or online) through integrated VPN connectivity. Abra is encrypted and loads itself automatically on a PC to protect any data stored on the device.
Check Point partnered with SanDisk to develop Abra, a Windows application which provides an encrypted virtual app environment without a full virtual desktop. The applications installed on the PC are used with reference to a white list.
Check Point CEO Gil Shwed said Abra can change the way people work remotely but not only combining virtualisation, VPN and strong data security into a single ultra-portable device, but doing it in an easy to use cost effective manner.
Abra can run on any Windows XP (and later) client computer, including public computers, but is aimed at clients that already have a level of security, like those used in a corporate network.
Fred Borjesson, regional endpoint sales manager of Asia Pacific at Check Point, said as the virtual environment is hardware-encrypted Malware can’t “jump” from the host to the USB key so in a worst-case scenario only key logging could occur.
Pricing for the solution begins at $150 per USB stick with 12 to 17 per cent maintenance fees for support and Check Point is working with partners to deliver Abra as a SaaS offering where there is one fee per client per month.
“More businesses are using third-party contractors, but from an IT security perspective this is a major challenge,” Borjesson said.
Borjesson came to Australia in 2004 and worked at PointSec which was acquired by Check Point.
Abra’s features include outgoing traffic control, file transfer control, compliance scanning of antivirus software, minimum password strength enforcement, support for multi-factor authentication and a “virtual keyboard” at login to block password theft by key loggers.
Check Point’s SmartDashboard is used for central management and policy administration.