When it comes to purchasing a laptop/desktop/AiO, you must include security in your priority list besides performance, durability, mobility, backup, etc. You might think that installing an antivirus would be enough, but it’s not true anymore. Attackers are constantly developing new malware to breach security. Traditional anti-virus software isn’t effective on them because it’s not OS-level security anymore. You need security rooted deep into the machine to combat sophisticated attacks. Here are essential security features you must look for while purchasing a new laptop/PC.
Having a layer of different security walls would be a great idea to protect your PC from attackers. You need protection for your PC firmware. Attackers can breach your BIOS, and if it happens, it can make the machine completely unusable. A laptop like HP EliteBook has the HP Sure Start feature that can heal the BIOS and recover the device automatically. There’s also HP SureRun, which uses proprietary deep learning algorithms and advanced neural network technology to recognize advanced malware. HP also includes a feature called HP SureClick that isolates key applications in their own virtual containers to trap any malware and delete it as soon as you close the application.
What if somebody stole your laptop. Then they would be able to login to access your data one way or the other by cracking your password. This is where biometric security becomes important. Laptops with a fingerprint reader or a webcam with face recognition would be a great way to log in to your laptop. In fact, some laptops can automatically lock the system the moment you get up and move away from your desk. This way, even if you forget to lock your Windows when you leave your seat, the laptop will automatically detect your absence and lock itself. Similarly, it will automatically log you in when you return to your seat.
Besides face detection, webcams nowadays can also be hacked. Someone could therefore spy on you through your webcam to see what you’re doing without your even knowing about it. This is where a webcam shutter becomes important. You’ll find laptops with both automatic as well as manual shutters to cover the webcam lens when not in use. This ensures your privacy is not breached.
Have you ever tried to access data directly from the PC drive? Yes, it’s possible and anyone can do that using simple connectivity options. If you want to keep your data safe inside the drive, you should consider the Self-Encrypting Drives (SEDs) feature in your laptop. Having hardware-based data encryption would encrypt your data with greater speed and perform better than software-based encryption.
Protection from Physical Device Tampering
If your PC or laptop is stolen and the attacker opens it to tamper with the internals, then there’s nothing much you can do about it. If it’s a software based attack, then you have anti-malware programs available to provide protection. What do you do when the attacker opens up the physical system and tampers with the internals? This is not science fiction, but a reality. Attackers can do different types of tampering like flash memory replacement, TPM probing, Direct Memory Access, and side channel attacks to name a few. Some business laptop like HP ZBook come with a tamper lock that protects the device from physical attacks. It can detect the case opening and provide configurable protection mechanisms against the same.
A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is another essential feature to look for. There are different types of TPMs – discrete TPM, Physical-based, firmware-based, software-based and virtual TPMs. The best would be discrete TPMs, as they typically are less likely to have bugs and must also implement tamper resistance. The TPM generates, stores and limits the use of cryptographic keys. It detects changes in the PC configuration and mitigates firmware, ransomware, dictionary and phishing attacks.
The ransomware cases are growing rapidly. Every 39 seconds, there is a new attack somewhere on the web. To combat different malware, phishing and other attacks, you need a laptop built with integrated security. For instance, HP EliteBook laptops come with various security features like HP Sure Sense, SureRecover, SureClick, SureStart, BIOS protection, SureRun, and SureView to name a few. It’s best to go with these security features in-built into the device instead of relying on security software alone.
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