SSP unveils Secure PC

SSP Solutions Inc., a provider of secure access control solutions and services, this week announced the launch of Secure PC, an "out of the box" secure computer delivered as a working client to the user. Secure PC is a prepackaged solution incorporating basic systems from Dell Computer Corp. and other manufacturers and integrated with selected technology from the SSP Solution Suite of security products and services.

Secure PC supplements the product offerings of Pulsar Data Systems Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of SSP Solutions and a provider of enterprise-level hardware, peripherals and software solutions designed for complex networking and security situations.

SSP, formerly Litronic Inc., has an extensive list of government customers, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Air Force, the National Security Agency, the CIA, and the departments of State and Defense.

Many of SSP's customers have been using the company's secure e-mail and browser products for years, but the system has never before been packaged as a preconfigured client, said Bill Holmes, vice president of marketing for the Irvine, Calif.-based company. Although no government customers are officially using the Secure PC yet, they have been using the technology it integrates.

Secure PC is shipped standard with a software and hardware package that:

* Adds smart card functionality to browser and e-mail applications.

* Secures Internet communications, e-commerce and financial transactions.

* Provides intranet and extranet access.

* Protects users' desktops from unauthorized access.

The product uses SecureStart, a log-on protection system for Microsoft Corp. Windows-based PCs that calls for the insertion of a smart card and a personal identification number for PC access. The system automatically locks upon removal of the user's smart card and requires an administrator to override system lock.

Secure PC also includes SafeBoot, which controls access to critical and sensitive information stored on PCs, something that is particularly important when a laptop computer is lost or stolen. It uses the 256-bit key and other leading encryption algorithms to scramble data in a way that is completely transparent to the authorized user, but prevents unauthorized users from reading the information. The hard disk is always encrypted, and decryption is done only as the authorized user accesses information.

Pulsar is planning to make the Secure PC available through its existing General Services Administration Group 70 and National Institutes of Health Electronic Computer Store II schedules, with shipments starting in November.

Secure PC's pricing ranges from $99 above the cost of a normal computer system, but Holmes said that with more sophisticated security solutions, that price will increase.

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