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Oct 10 2013

Defend Your Data with Workplace Protect and EraseDisk

Fujitsu has always been eager to help customers protect their business-critical information and privacy, long before newspapers broke stories about massive online surveillance almost every day. To this end, we have developed or adopted a fair share of technologies and solutions, ranging from fingerprint sensors to TPM chips and from web privacy enhancements to the Advanced Theft Protection suite. As a result, Fujitsu workplace systems are as prominent for their comprehensive security features as they are for outstanding functionality.

While our workplace security offerings are definitely sophisticated, their success is based on a few simple core principles. Probably the most important ones are that IT security starts at home, with keeping the bad guys out and letting only the good ones in. This is exactly what our new free of charge solution Workplace Protect was made for.

Authentication with Workplace Protect

Workplace Protect can be best described as a security suite consisting of several authentication modules designed for different working environments and security levels. For these purposes, it relies on biometrics devices as well as more "traditional" authentication methods, which may be used alone or in combination with each other. More specifically, these methods include:

  • Pre-boot Authentication (PBA) at BIOS level with either a fingerprint reader or SmartCard/PIN combination – PBA is the strictest form of access control and basically shuts out adversaries before they can even start the system. Based on individual, verified credentials, it ensures that only authorized users get access to critical software and vital business information. At the same time, PBA provides the highest level of comfort, because the user credentials are handed over to the operating system and applications, thus creating a combined authentication/single sign-on solution.
  • Biometrics- or card-based user authentication for Microsoft Windows® – this is the method of choice for "less critical" environments that do not require PBA or for users who want to upgrade their login methods without deviating too far from the norm. Unlike PBA, this kind of authentication process is carried out after the system boot and can employ a wider choice of identification technologies – namely palm vein scans, face recognition, and RFID cards – instead of or in conjunction with fingerprints and/or SmartCards and PINs. Users thus gain greater flexibility while maintaining a security level that is basically comparable to the one achieved with PBA. As before, authentication can be combined with a single sign-on function.

Along with these key functionalities, Workplace Protect also offers a Password Safe that stores the secret login details users need to access protected websites, and a so-called Encrypted Container, that is, an encrypted virtual disk drive to preserve and shield confidential user data. In essence, Workplace Protect collects all access control features under one hood; so all login methods can be centrally managed, either on a per-device or a group policy basis.

Workplace Protect is compatible with Microsoft Windows® 7 and 8/8.1, and available in the different "dosage forms": pre-installed on a variety of Fujitsu workplace systems (cf. our link below) or via download.

Disk Sanitization with EraseDisk

Data leakage and data loss have been identified as major security threats to modern IT architectures for a long time. But these incidents aren't always the result of hacker attacks or theft committed by frustrated employees. Instead, various successful attacks were only possible due to improper disk sanitization. As we all know from TV shows like Forensic Files, simple file deletion can never be an appropriate method, in any environment, because the "Delete" command doesn't destroy information, but merely indicates that a formerly protected sector of a disk may now be overwritten. Until that happens, data are still traceable with digital forensics tools. With its unique EraseDisk technology, Fujitsu has solved this problem. EraseDisk overwrites – and thereby irretrievably deletes – all sensitive data on a hard disk before a system is retired, repurposed or sold. Users may settle on one of four different deletion options, each of which complies with a different standard or environment.

As an integral part of several product lines from the ESPRIMO, LIFEBOOK and CELSIUS series, EraseDisk offers various advantages over special software solutions:

  • Time and cost savings – users only need to order the functionality with their new workplace system, as it's not activated by default
  • Easy, hassle-free handling
  • Password protection – to enhance security and avoid mishaps, the application may only be executed by authorized admins or supervisors who can verify their identity
  • Persistence and loss protection – being implemented in the firmware, EraseDisk cannot be disabled by mistake and remains functional throughout the computer's lifetime

Quintessence: Fujitsu Workplace Protect is a software-based, all-in-one authentication solution which comes pre-installed on Fujitsu workstations, desktop PCs and notebooks running the latest editions of Microsoft Windows. Organizations can use it to replace conventional username/password combinations with biometrics- or card-based methods for massive security gains and even switch to Pre-boot Authentication if required. Fujitsu EraseDisk ensures that sensitive information is irretrievably destroyed before a system is retired or sold, and thus prevents data leakage at the other end of the food chain.

For detailed information and downloads, please see our Workplace Protect microsite. A list of compatible operating systems and hardware products is here. A white paper about the EraseDisk functionality is available here.

Which login methods do you support to protect critical systems and sensitive data? Which ones are preferable in your opinion, and why?


Bernd Germandi


About the Author:

Bernd Germandi

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fujitsu


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