IBM to Offer Chip-Based Encryption for PCs, PDAs

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IBM plans to announce that it will offer a chip-based encryption method that has the potential to significantly simplify and reduce the costs of how data is secured on computers, PDAs, cell phones and other electronic devices, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The “Secure Blue” technology encrypts or scrambles all data it processes via a part of a microprocessor designed specifically for this reason, according to The Journal.

IBM is releasing the technology amid a recent spate of high-profile data breaches at a number of businesses, health-care organizations and financial institutions. In one of the more recent breaches, a Fidelity Investments laptop that housed personal data on some 196,000 customers was stolen in March.

According to IBM, the new technology can resist the trickery of even the most skilled hackers, The Journal reports. Tim Ravy, a vice president with IBM’s technology-collaborations solutions unit, told The Journal, “If someone tries to access the chip by tampering, it can commit suicide on the spot.”

In the future, IBM engineers will collaborate with processor producers to build security features directly into their products, according to The Journal.

Secure Blue is in IBM’s Power processors, which are available to businesses, and in two additional processors, The Journal reports.

The company will also reach out with Secure Blue to processor producers in the defense, consumer electronics and financial services industries, according to The Journal.

“The need to protect content is growing exponentially,” Ravy told The Journal.

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