Tag Archives: remotely

Conseal Security Takes Portable Device Security To Another Level With Conseal USB

“This tape will self-destruct in five seconds!” – Mission Impossible.

Growing up in the 1960’s, I though that was just the coolest phrase – and the underlying technology, of course. As a way of keeping confidential  information out of the hands of the bad guys, what could be better than that? BOOOM!

Today, safeguarding confidential information is far more complex – and there are many more “bad guys”. Information, in a very real sense, is currency – and the need to protect it is every bit as real as if it were hard currency.

Unfortunately, protecting critical data in an age of extreme data portability (USB sticks, portable Hard Drives, memory cards …. ) against theft, or loss, is exasperated by the very nature of portable technology.

How hard is it to lose a USB key through theft or misadventure – easy (personally, I’ve lost two over the years).

How hard is it to lose a portable Hard Drive through theft or misadventure – easy.

How hard is it to lose a memory card through theft or misadventure – easy.

How hard is it recover any one of the storages devices mentioned? Hard. Hard. Hard.

While it’s true, that both password and encryption applications, offer some protection against unauthorized access should a portable storage device vanish, neither provides absolute protection. Both password cracking, and decrypting applications (and the computing resources necessary), are readily available to those with less than honorable intentions.

What’s needed then, is a technology that not only offers password protection and file encryption, but the ability to remotely destroy data on a non-recoverable device – if it becomes necessary.

I suspect that the Ministry of Defense in the UK, would have been delighted with this type of technology had it been available when, in 2008,  fifty eight Ministry of Defense unencrypted drives – which contained details of troop movements, locations, and travel accommodation, were “lost”.

Certainly, portable media device theft, or loss, is not restricted to organizations; it can just as easily happen at an individual level. For example, in the U.K., in 2008, – 9,000 USB drives were found by dry cleaners in various articles of clothing. It’s safe to say, that data loss and data leakages related to lost or stolen computer portable devices, are now commonplace.

Luckily, Conseal Security has just released a security safety system  that not only includes strong AES encryption, it allows protected devices to be remotely self-destructed, if they are lost or stolen. Moreover, as part of the package the ability to lock devices to specific networks, domains or specific computers, is included. A bonus feature includes a capacity to review all access attempts on a device.

Application setup, including creating an account which provides access to all of the programs features, is straightforward.

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The initial account password will be emailed to you. The temporary account password in the screen capture shown below, has been changed.

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Once logged in, you can proceed to manage the portable device attached to your machine.

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In the following screen shot, you’ll notice I have logged in and entered a name for the attached device.

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The USB drive I used for this test was quite small (512 MB), so the encryption and registration took less than two minutes.

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As per the message box, no files were accessible on Drive F: (the original drive designation) – instead the files were on Drive G: (the newly concealed drive).

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Following encryption of the drive’s contents you will have a number of options to choose from, including –

Access Control

You can set up rules to control where and when this device can be unlocked.

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Alerting

You can set up alerts to email you when this device is used.

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Self Destruct

You can securely delete the contents of this device if it has been lost or stolen. It will become a blank disk.

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Unlocking the portable device is an uncomplicated process – as shown in the following screen captures.

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A taskbar popup will notify you on successful completion of the “unlock” process, as illustrated in this screen capture.

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Fast facts:

Remote self destruct – If your Consealed device is lost or stolen, you can remotely destroy the data it contains. Press a button on a website and the contents of your device will be securely wiped when next inserted.

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Who’s accessed your data? – View a log of who attempts to unlocks your Consealed device, including who they are and what computer they used. The log shows all access attempts and contains sufficient information for law enforcement officials to uniquely identify the computer used.

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Define who can access your data – Specify the computers or network domains which can unlock your Consealed device. Also specify what times of the day it can be unlocked. Rules can be changed even when the device is out of your hands.

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Safe from password guessing attempts – Even fairly complex passwords can be guessed on average within 16 minutes. Conseal’s “Dual Locks” system completely secures your protected data against password guessing attempts. Consealed devices can only be unlocked with permission from a central server.

Warnings of attempted break-ins – Receive email warnings when someone tries to unlock your Consealed device, directly and uniquely identifying the user, where they are, and what computer they used.

Strong encryption – Your data is stored using super-strength 256-bit AES encryption (approved by governments to protect ‘Top Secret’ information).

Takeaway: A very impressive and elegant solution to a potentially disastrous occurrence at a cost that’s appropriate.

Conseal USB Licenses:

Home User – 1 year’s protection. Non-commercial use only. Up to 5 devices £19.95.

Corporate User – 10 devices £140 (for 1 year). 100 devices £99/month. 1000 devices £830/month. 10,000 devices £5950/month.

Conseal Security offers a full no-quibble 14 day money-back guarantee from date of purchase.

System requirements: Windows XP and above.

Devices: You can Conseal literally any USB storage device. This includes memory sticks, USB pen drives, external hard disks, SD / MMC / xD / CompactFlash cards. It also includes all Firewire, eSATA and USB3 devices. Conseal is completely device and manufacturer independent.

Further details, and a 15 day Trial download are available at the developer’s site – Conseal Security.

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Filed under Business Applications, Cloud Computing, Computer Tools, Connected Devices, Cyber Crime, Cyber Criminals, downloads, Encryption, Encryption Software, flash drive, Geek Software and Tools, Software, Software Trial Versions, Surveilance Tools, USB, Windows Tips and Tools

Remotely Assist Friends and Family with LogMeIn Express Beta

image If you’re the person who’s often asked by friends, to help them, their friends, their neighbors, ……..the list goes on, to reconstruct a computer that is not responding appropriately, has become loaded with malware, etc., then LogMeIn Express Beta is worth taking a look at. Running this free screen sharing/remote control application is simple – one of the easiest I’ve used.

To get up and running:

The sharer (host), downloads a small 874Kb applet from the LogMeIn Express site.

You (viewer), enter a 12-digit code given to you by the sharer, e.g. email, and then enter the code on the LogMeIn Express website.

That’s it – you now have access to their screen and remote control. To make it even easier, Chat is enabled – no voice support is included in this version.

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Security is built into all aspects of a LogMeIn Express session; the  connection is secured using 256-bit SSL encryption.

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It struck me, that the typical computer user using LogMeIn Express , doesn’t need to know anything about ports or protocols, or any other complicated jargon, and with LogMeIn Express up and running, connection to the remote computer can be accomplished within minutes.

A number of my friends, who are only moderately techno competent, have used this neat little tool to rescue their family’s and friend’s computers. Many have commented that it feels just as if they were working side by side with the remote user, on the same PC. I second that perception. Awesome!

Fast facts – from the developer’s site:

It’s Simple

Session code generated by the host instantly shares screen with one or many

Small download for the host; no client required for the viewer

Easy-to-use chat capabilities

It’s Secure

End-to-end, 256-bit SSL encryption — the same security levels used and trusted by major banking institutions

Permission based — end user must approve remote control

It’s Free

Express Beta is free for both commercial and non-commercial use

Host requirements:

Windows 7, Vista, XP, Server 2003 & Server 2008 (all including 64-bit)

Broadband connectivity to the Internet (i.e., T1, cable modem, ISDN, or DSL)

Viewer requirements:

Flash Player 9, 10

Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 or Firefox 3 or Chrome 3 or Safari 4

Broadband connectivity to the Internet (i.e., T1, cable modem, ISDN, or DSL)

Go to: LogMeIn Express

Bottom line: If you have the skills, and you have the opportunity to provide tech support to your family or friends, then LogMeIn Express might just be the tool you’ve been looking for. Keep in mind however, that this application is still in Beta.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Remote Tech Support, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Download Free Crossloop – Be a Tech Hero for Family/Friends/Customers

Are you, like me, the tech support guru/IT department for your friends, family, and perhaps even the neighborhood?

I’m often asked by friends, to help them, their friends, their neighbors ………. the list goes on endlessly, to reconstruct a computer that is not responding properly, has become loaded with malware, or in some instances, has been taken over by a hacker.

Earlier this year, I was called upon in just such a situation, which is when I discovered CrossLoop; a free remote desktop application with a simple and distinctly user friendly interface, which CNET’s Download.com has recognized as one of The 10 Best Downloads of 2007.

After spending some time viewing an excellent introductory video on CrossLoop, available on YouTube, it was easy for me to see that this neat little application had all sorts of possibilities.

It struck me right away that the typical computer user using CrossLoop, doesn’t need to know anything about ports or protocols, or any other complicated jargon, and with CrossLoop up and running, connection to the remote computer can be accomplished within minutes. Even some of my friends, who are moderately techno competent, are now using this neat little tool to rescue their family’s and friend’s computers.

The individual needing assistance installs CrossLoop and runs the main application, then goes to share, and provides the access code to you. You then enter the 12-digit access code, click the connect button, and on connection the CrossLoop server does all of the behind- the- scenes work.

CrossLoop enables you to see the screen, and control the mouse and keyboard on the remote computer. Many users have commented that it feels just as if you are working side by side with the remote user, on the same PC. I second that perception. Awesome!

If you need to transfer files during your session, you’ll find that it’s a snap. What could be easier than using drag and drop to copy a file or folder onto a dialog box?

Security is built into all aspects of a CrossLoop session. Data is encrypted at the end-points before being transmitted using a 128-bit encryption algorithm made up of a randomly generated 12-digit access code.

The CrossLoop help page is one of the most complete I have seen. It provides a step by step text and pictorial guide to the process, so that even newbie support techs should have no problem looking like a pro.

Bottom line: If you have the skills, and you have the opportunity to provide tech support to your family or friends, then CrossLoop is the must-have tool for the job. It’s a powerful productivity tool that enables you to quickly collaborate with anyone, anywhere in the world.

CrossLoop Quick Facts:

Connect Any Two PCs

Available in 21 Languages

File Transfer Capability

Switch control to make collaboration easier

View Only and Share Control modes

Download the latest version at: Download.com

2 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Peer to Peer, Remote Tech Support, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

Free CrossLoop – Be the PC Tech Guru for Family/Friends

Are you, like me, the tech support guru/IT department for your friends, family, and perhaps even the neighborhood?

I’m often asked by friends, to help them, their friends, their neighbors ………. the list goes on endlessly, to reconstruct a computer that is not responding properly, has become loaded with malware, or in some instances, has been taken over by a hacker.

Earlier this year, I was called upon in just such a situation, which is when I discovered CrossLoop; a free remote desktop application with a simple and distinctly user friendly interface, which CNET’s Download.com has recognized as one of The 10 Best Downloads of 2007.

After spending some time viewing an excellent introductory video on CrossLoop, available on YouTube, it was easy for me to see that this neat little application had all sorts of possibilities.

It struck me right away that the typical computer user using CrossLoop, doesn’t need to know anything about ports or protocols, or any other complicated jargon, and with CrossLoop up and running, connection to the remote computer can be accomplished within minutes. Even some of my friends, who are moderately techno competent, are now using this neat little tool to rescue their family’s and friend’s computers.

The individual needing assistance installs CrossLoop and runs the main application, then goes to share, and provides the access code to you. You then enter the 12-digit access code, click the connect button, and on connection the CrossLoop server does all of the behind- the- scenes work.

CrossLoop enables you to see the screen, and control the mouse and keyboard on the remote computer. Many users have commented that it feels just as if you are working side by side with the remote user, on the same PC. I second that perception. Awesome!

If you need to transfer files during your session, you’ll find that it’s a snap. What could be easier than using drag and drop to copy a file or folder onto a dialog box?

Security is built into all aspects of a CrossLoop session. Data is encrypted at the end-points before being transmitted using a 128-bit encryption algorithm made up of a randomly generated 12-digit access code.

The CrossLoop help page is one of the most complete I have seen. It provides a step by step text and pictorial guide to the process, so that even newbie support techs should have no problem looking like a pro.

Bottom line: If you have the skills, and you have the opportunity to provide tech support to your family or friends, then CrossLoop is the must-have tool for the job. It’s a powerful productivity tool that enables you to quickly collaborate with anyone, anywhere in the world.

CrossLoop Quick Facts:

Connect Any Two PCs

Available in 21 Languages

File Transfer Capability

Switch control to make collaboration easier

View Only and Share Control modes

Download the latest version at: Download.com

2 Comments

Filed under Diagnostic Software, Easy Computer Networking, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Peer to Peer, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools