Big Blue will unveil Friday several improvements to a software utility designed to better protect data on PCs that have IBM's security chip. The cryptographic processor, installed on some models of laptops and desktops sold by the company, is designed to run certain critical security functions in a way that can't be controlled by hackers or other unauthorized users. The chip can be used, for example, to guard a list of randomized passwords used for different Internet accounts with a single password memorized by the user.
IBM released a version of the chip in June that complies with the latest designs from the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA) as a potential standard. The TCPA aims to design a PC-based platform that can protect sensitive software and data, from copyrighted music to classified government documents.