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Toshiba’s Enterprise PC Solution Uses an Original BIOS to Secure Robust Information Security

Company to begin accepting orders for TZCS, a thin client for virtual desktop infrastructure
20 Nov, 2014

TOKYO-Toshiba Corporation (Tokyo: 6502) today announced that it has begun accepting orders for TZCS, a thin client solution for virtual desktop infrastructure*1 (VDI). TZCS provides robust information security for enterprise clients using client PCs with a Toshiba-developed BIOS*2 by monitoring communications between the clients and VDI services running on a server.

Desktop virtualization delivers a comprehensive desktop environment that allows users to access their own virtual desktops from the client of their choice, whether at home or work. All user data is saved to a server, which prevents data leaks from clients and improves information security. However, virtual desktops using conventional clients are vulnerable to data theft if the PCs are lost or stolen, because they save server connection information on the PC’s internal hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD) *3.

TZCS consists of a client PC that does not have a HDD or SSD running the Toshiba-developed BIOS, plus a server application that manages information on accessible VDI services. The BIOS is designed to restrict connections to the management server through authentication based on the manufacturer’s serial numbers. Additionally, the management server and the BIOS communicate regularly with each other in order to monitor client usage; this makes it possible to trigger a forced shutdown or remotely wipe client data and server connection information, if the client is taken outside a designated area. Because the Toshiba-developed BIOS holds the server connection information, unauthorized external access to the server is prevented, and this further reduces the risk of information leaks in the event of loss or theft of a client.

TZCS is designed for Toshiba notebook PCs for enterprise applications, and clients can be tailored to individual customer needs in respect of body size, screen size and other specs. TZCS also supports major VDI services such as XenDesktop from Citrix Systems, Inc., Horizon from VMware, Inc., and Microsoft VDI*4 from Microsoft Corporation.

Toshiba will further accelerate a shift in focus towards the B2B field with the aim of maintaining positive net income.

Image of the TZCS solution

 
TZCS

*XenDesktop is a registered trademark of Citrix Systems, Inc..
*Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
*All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

Development Background

As people increasingly use notebook PCs and other mobile IT devices for work, the workplace is changing rapidly to accommodate flexible work styles, such as telework and free-addressing (i.e. a sit-where-you-want, open-desk policy). Such work styles put sensitive business information at risk of exposure to many people, both off site and in the office. Given this, the importance of information security is increasing, in order to prevent information losses and unauthorized use of IT devices. To address enterprise needs for robust information security, Toshiba has developed the TZCS thin-client solution for VDI, targeting the B2B field.

Overview of the TZCS Solution

1. Management of dedicated PCs

The Toshiba-original BIOS incorporates sensor management and secure communication technologies to realize security management by monitoring PC connections and hardware states. These features make it possible to prevent unauthorized access to PCs and unauthorized copying of data to a USB memory or other external storage devices. Additionally, Toshiba’s Smart Client Manager 2.0, an option, allows IT managers to monitor the use of PC hardware and comprehensively restrict its use at the BIOS level.

2. Restriction of the areas where virtual desktops can be used

If a PC client is taken outside an area designated by the IT manager, TZCS can disconnect it from its virtual desktop and delete all applications and data. The IT manager can restrict the area where virtual desktops can be used in order to prevent information losses due to unauthorized removal from the site or theft of PCs. TZCS also allows IT managers to remotely add or replace applications on PC clients via a management server.

 

*1 A system that virtualizes all the components of multiple desktops to make it possible to run the desktop environments on a server
*2 Basic input/output system. The program that controls the input and output operations of the various hardware devices on a PC
*3 A data storage device that uses NAND Flash memory
*4 An approach to VDI where clients provide minimal functionality and most applications and data files are stored on a server

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Information in the press releases, including product prices and specifications, content of services and contact information, is current on the date of the press announcement, but is subject to change without prior notice.

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