The patent's assignee for patent number 8510825 is
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The use of portable computers, such as laptops or personal digital assistants (PDAs), has become very popular in recent years. Many people store personal information or documents, such as social security numbers, credit card information, and family photos, on their laptops. Also, the use of portable computers is quite common in the modern business environment. Corporate laptops and PDAs often contain confidential or sensitive business information, such as confidential documentation, e-mail addresses, bank accounts, and trade secrets.
"It has been estimated that one laptop is stolen every 53 seconds. Theft of portable computers and intellectual property is an increasing concern. Unfortunately, only a very small percentage of stolen laptops are ever returned. Even if a stolen laptop is recovered, the confidential, sensitive, or personal data that was stored thereon may have been accessed by malicious parties, which is undesirable."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Approaches for securing a client, such as a portable computer, are provided. Embodiments of the invention secure the resources of a wide variety of clients from theft or unauthorized access.
"In an embodiment, a client includes, among other components, an operating system agent and a BIOS agent. An operating system agent is one or more software modules that execute in an operating system of the client, while the BIOS agent is one or more software modules that execute in the BIOS of the client. Embodiments of the invention may implement the BIOS agent in a manner that prevents unauthorized users from deleting, overwriting, reading, or otherwise tampering with the BIOS agent. The BIOS agent, among other responsibilities, monitors the health of the operating system agent, which in turn, monitors the health of resources of the client.
"The BIOS agent may store policy data within the BIOS of the client. The policy data describes one or more policies which the client should follow. When an operating system agent detects that a condition, specified by a particular policy of the one or more policies, has been met, the operating system agent performs one or more actions specified by the particular policy, such as disabling the client, retrieving a file from the client, erasing a file from the client, or encrypting a file on the client. Advantageously, the policies stored by the BIOS agent may be customized to accommodate a wide variety of contexts in which a client may be employed.
"The approaches described herein are not meant to describe all the embodiments of the invention, as other embodiments of the invention may differ in their operation compared to the illustrative approaches discussed in this section."
For additional information on this patent, see: Tarkhanyan, Anahit; Gupta, Ravi; Banga, Gaurav. Secure Computing Environment to Address Theft and Unauthorized Access. U.S. Patent Number 8510825, filed
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