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Security service protects PCs from attack

Start-up InZero Systems makes its debut with a security service that promises to protect PCs from possible malware, intrusions and other types of attacks.

The InZero Secure PC service features what the company calls a “little black box” that, when plugged into a PC and attached to Ethernet cable, offers a “hardware sandbox” with its own CPU, read-only memory and stateful inspection firewall and encryption engine. The device protects the PC from Internet threats without relying on the more traditional antivirus scanning model. There's also a version of the hardware that would fit inside a PC. The InZero Secure PC device, which externally measures about 3″ x 4″ x 1″, also acts as a gateway that can prevent malicious code from being sent out as well through what he calls a filtering and conversion-engine mechanism.

“This completely isolated area is dealing with anything from the outside,” says co-founder Louis Hughes, chair and CEO of the start-up, which was founded in 2005 with undisclosed investment from financial partners and now has 60 employees. InZero Secure PC is intended for use by either business or consumer, and as a service, it is managed through a data center in the Washington, D.C., area.

The InZero Secure PC service also includes an encryption capability for protecting applications that might be stored on the user's own PC, says another co-founder, Alexander Pyntikov, president and COO. “We believe hardware is the key to this,” he notes, since using just software wouldn't provide the level of protection the company is striving to achieve. The hardware-based service also includes a way to use a VPN to encrypt traffic.

In a press conference in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Phil Zimmermann, creator of PGP, is expected to speak on the topic of evaluating the encryption in the product, and Gen. Wesley Clark, chair of the InZero Systems advisory board, is expected to make an appearance as well touting the InZero Secure PC service and product.

InZero Systems says it has about 37 businesses trying out the security service, which is being offered free for one month, with pricing around $70 per month, and lower based on volume discounts.

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