Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 13:41 UK

InfoSec 2009 at a glance

By Jane Wakefield
Technology reporter, BBC News website

Security remains a huge issue for businesses and consumers alike.

Whether it be better ways of securing data or more effective passwords, the issues may be old but every year brings new solutions.

The BBC news website has been on the floor at InfoSec 2009 to find some of the innovations on offer.


Data Locker
Data Locker is a hard-drive with PIN number

The Data Locker is a portable USB hard drive which also has a built-in keyboard.

Designed by Origin Storage, the device was a year in the making and promises to secure data which is increasingly being transferred or taken out of an organisation.

The keyboard allows users to choose a password of between six and 18 digits, without which there can be no way of accessing the data.

The unit is a little bigger than the average smartphone but is also very light.

"We made it small and light enough to carry around but big enough not to be lost," said Origin Storage's director Andy Cordial.

The device, priced from £199, comes in three versions models, with either 128 or 256 bit encryption.

Users can choose from versions with either 160 gigabyte, 320 gigabyte and 500 gigabyte storage capacity.

Aimed at businesses and government departments, it has been available since January.


Employee at a window
Employees are increasingly stealing data

As the global recession makes redundancy a reality for many, firms are increasingly at risk of having important data stolen by disgruntled employees.

Companies are realising the need to lock down their system but traditionally anyone with an administration password has been free to do whatever they liked within the system.

Cyber-Ark is one of several firms touting its wares at InfoSec, launching its Priveleged Identity Management Suite, designed to combat insider threats and data theft.

The system promises to secure, manage, log and monitor privileged accounts such as those held by admininstrators.

Its survey of IT administrators found that one third would use their rights to access confidential or sensitive information, while 85% said they would take information if they left the company.

The firm has 500 clients around the world, including banks, supermarkets and government organisations.


Twitter on a computer screen
Employees are increasingly Tweeting and Facebooking

Palo Alto claims it has invented the next generation of firewall, enabling control of applications such as social networks and peer-to-peer technology that are bypassed by traditional firewalls.

It says it can spot over 800 applications using its patent-pending App-ID technology.

While traditional firewalls rely on ports and protocols to classify traffic, the App-ID determines exactly which applications are on the network by using up to four different identification techniques.

From peer-to-peer technology to copyright theft, the Palo Alto technology claims to be able to identify both content and user.

"We can do it all in one place, on the perimeter of the network," said Alex Raistrick, UK manager of Palo Alto.


Security firm Aladdin will announce this autumn a deal with UK ISPs which it claims will be the first time tie-up to see ISP-hosted security and content filtering.

It will be offering ISPs its eSafe content security product which offers defence against the threats of malware, spam, Trojans and viruses.

The firm is already working with a couple of Israeli ISPs which have around 160,000 users signed up.

As well as offering security against traditional threats, the system also allows parents to control the content their children are seeing.

It will be announcing the ISPs it has signed up in the UK in September.


Could a pattern replace a PIN?

GrIDsure is a British company which is hoping that its Personal Identification will one day replace PIN numbers.

Users authenticate themselves by remembering a minimum of a four block pattern on a five by five grid.

Randomly generated numbers will appear on the grid and users simple enter the numbers which correspond to their chosen pattern.

Cambridge University mathematicians have estimated that GrIDsure is 100 times more secure than a traditional PIN.

According to GrIDsure's chairman Jonathan Craymer there are over 9 million options for a four block patterns on a five by five grid.

GrIDsure is not a new technology. The firm has been around for a couple of years but is now beginning to see its technology incorporated in devices.

It has just signed a deal with Microsoft to have GridSure put on the handsets of mobile workers as a means of authentication, providing an alternative to expensive tokens.

Meanwhile Sharp has incorporated the grid system into its new range of multi-functional printers.

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