Intel Unveils Next-Gen Core vPro Chips for Better System Security

The new capabilities are aimed at helping businesses deal with the BYOD trend and making intelligent system easier to manage and secure.

Intel officials are introducing the third generation of their Core vPro processor platform, which offers new security and management capabilities that will make their way into everything from Ultrabooks and other notebooks to desktop PCS, workstations and intelligent systems.

With the new vPro platform, introduced May 15, Intel is embedding security capabilities throughout the chip€”including the silicon€”and making it easier for IT managers to set up and configure systems, both key requirements as the consumerization of IT takes greater hold in business, according to Dan Russell, director of business client solutions marketing at Intel.

€œWe really wanted to focus on building the bridge between the CIO and the employee in a company,€ Russell told eWEEK, noting that the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is driving security and management issues in enterprises.

In a Webcast talking about the new Core vPro capabilities, Rick Echevarria, vice president of the Intel Architecture Group and general manager of Intel€™s Business Client Platform Division, said that while employees are increasingly bringing their own mobile devices€”in particular, smartphones and tablets€”into work, IT departments still need to be able to secure and manage them.

With that in mind, Intel officials said the embedded security capabilities are aimed at helping businesses in such areas as threat management, identity and access, data protection, and monitoring and remediation.

The embedded security capabilities include Intel€™s Identity Protection Technology with public key infrastructure (IPT with PKI) in its Core vPro chips. According to Jason Kennedy, director of enterprise marketing and product management for Intel€™s Business Client Platforms Division, IPT with PKI offers a second layer of authentication, using a private key stored in the PC€™s firmware to enable Websites and corporate networks to ensure that a user trying to log in is legitimate and that the person is doing so from a trusted system.

The technology safeguards against phishing attack via a stronger means of authentication, and alleviates privacy and confidentiality concerns, Kennedy said.

€œWe€™re definitely adding quite a bit of muscle to our security capabilities,€ he said.

Intel also is embedding Intel OS Guard and Intel SecureKey with Intel Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) New Instructions, which protects against the loss of media, data and other assets. OS Guard also safeguards against malware.

The giant chip maker also is leveraging its acquisition last year of security software maker McAfee with such embedded capabilities as ePO Deep Command for greater security for data being sent across networks in such connected industries as health care, where patient data may be sent from a doctor€™s office to a hospital.

On the management side, the new Core vPro chips include Intel€™s Active Management Technology for remote management of systems. Such capabilities can be a boon for the growing number of organizations that rely on intelligent machines for their businesses, the Intel officials said. For example, retail businesses that rely on vending machines, point-of-sale systems or digital signs can discover, diagnose and fix problems over the network, before those issues result in lost revenue and without having to rely on costly IT service calls, they said.