Can Hardware Thwart Attackers?

At the Gamecon Congress 2015 at Cologne, Germany, Intel announced its 6th Generation of Core processors. Although they did not elaborate, the new chips have vPro on-chip hardware, which is important to the security of business users. Among the new 6th Generation vPro Cores, several of them have new hardware capabilities that include Authenticate and Unite. Intel claims this on-chip hardware to be unhackable, and these can verify the identity of users, allowing them to project their screens onto any WiDi or Wireless Display in the world.

According to Tom Garrison, General Manager of Intel Business Client, the 6th generation vPro Cores will offer workplaces higher productivity, higher security, and higher collaborative experience for business users. As more enterprises now allow users to choose their own devices ranging from Windows to Apple products, Intel is targeting at lowering the price of transforming the workplace in accommodating them. For instance, Intel claims to have dropped their workplace cost per user from $250 to $150 through the transformation.

Intel 6th Gen vPro users now have three-way docking – with their WiDi, WiGig or their business network. They can also use the wired Thunderbolt dock as it has a dual function, charging the laptop and offering 40-Gbit speeds. Intel claims 300 design wins for their 6th generation design WiDi capabilities and about 600 for the WiGig.

According to Intel, with their 6th Gen vPro cores, users will see several improvements, even in the five-year old laptops that several businesses still use. These include a 2.5-fold performance improvement, three times extension of battery life, and 30-times speedier graphics performance. Intel is also offering its mobile users a performance equivalent to Xeon-caliber. However, the most important announcement still remains the authentication hardware from Intel.

According to Garrison, Authentication is a new capability, never before seen. Using Authentication, the information technology department of a business can guarantee the authenticity of any user with two or more factors. That makes break-ins using stolen credentials virtually outdated.

With Authentication, users can select up to four additional factors supported by the unhackable on-chip hardware. This includes PIN, proximity of the phone using Bluetooth, a defined location such as the office, home, or any other, and biometrics such as retina scan or fingerprint.

With Intel Unite hardware, the 6th Gen Core processors allow business users to link their laptop screens wirelessly onto any connected display in the world. They can also control their environment such as dim the lighting and other niceties. Users have to enter a six-digit PIN to connect to any WiDi equipped display, whether in a conference room or anywhere in the world. For business users, this comes complete with Skype. Now, the 6th Generation core users can mirror their laptop display on any big screen-presentation without having to turn to dongles, cords, or wires.

Even in this down market, Intel is claiming 200 business-wins for its 6th Gen vPro Cores, along with 100 vPro design-ins, and over 30 wins with their Intel Ultrabook designs. They have also completed 300 trials of deployment for their WiDi wireless display technology, and more than 600 trials with their WiGig wireless docking design-wins.