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Wang PC builds in security features

Hoping to tap worries about economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, Wang Labs introduces a secure PC designed for government and commercial markets.

Hoping to tap worries about economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, Wang Labs (WANG) today introduced a secure PC designed for government and commercial markets.

But one analyst questions whether there's much of a market for the product. "I think IS is much more concerned about its distribution system being broken than about securing PCs," said Bill Schaub, computer group director at Dataquest.

Wang's Jules Rutstein, program manager for DataDefense Secure PC System, counters that "computer security is a concern on all fronts, not just in government but as an economic concern as well."

The company's secure PC is built with standard components (166- or 200-MHz Pentium MMX, CD-ROM drive, 15-inch color monitor) with added security features such as access control, encryption, and virus scan software.

It is also configured to meet the "emanation threat" by reducing how much energy radiates from the PC, because that energy can allow others to monitor and steal data on a PC.

"Most of our government customers are in intelligence agencies," Rutstein said, pointing to Wang's roughly $400 million in government contracts in its $1.3 billion annual revenues. "This is more designed for civilian agencies and the Department of Defense, which are concerned about unclassified but sensitive information."

For civilian agencies, the government is moving to buy "commercial off-the-shelf" equipment to save money. The DataDefense Secure PC System, available as a base unit that can be customized to comply with corporate security policies, can also be tailored for government contract specifications.

"The product itself is designed to meet any computer security requirement in the commercial market," Rutstein said. The secure PC will be the first product Wang's government unit has actively marketed to the private sector.

By incorporating security features and making them invisible to end users, Wang hopes to cut down on the most common objection to using security--that it's cumbersome and difficult.

Pricing on basic units will start at $2,700, and delivery will come 60 days after orders are received.