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New Intel Chips Pack Hardware Authentication Technology

Intel’s 6th Generation Intel Core™ vPro™ Processors Add Hardware-based Authentication Features

Chip giant Intel Corporation has started shipping its 6th Generation Intel Core™ vPro™ processor family, which now features a hardware-enhanced multifactor authentication solution designed to strengthen identity protection.  

With many data breaches stemming from stolen user credentials, Intel is hoping to address the issue with new security technology the company calls Intel Authenticate.

The technology is a hardware-enhanced, multifactor authentication solution that strengthens identity protection on the PC, making it less vulnerable to identity and security credential attacks, the company said.

Intel Core vPro i7 Chip with AuthenticateDesigned to provide flexible policy configuration and enforcement, Intel Authenticate is compatible with popular IT policy management tools, including:

• Microsoft Active Directory and Group Policy

• Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager

• Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite

• McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator

How Intel Authenticate Works

As the chip manufacturer explains, Intel Authenticate verifies identities by using a combination of up to three hardened factors at the same time: "something you know," such as a personal identification number; "something you have," including a mobile phone; and "something you are," such as a fingerprint.

End users can combine these available factors, including phone proximity, to enable Network Access to log in to domains and VPNs, and “Walk-Away Lock”, which uses presence technology to lock a system when a user leaves their PC unattended.

“IT can choose from multiple hardened factors of authentication that are based on company policies, and no longer has to rely solely on employees remembering complicated passwords,” Intel said.

Manufacturers including Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic and Toshiba are all releasing enterprise-ready devices featuring the new Intel processors, Intel said, and Authenticate is compatible with Microsoft Windows 7, 8 and 10.

The technology is currently available as a preview.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring and analyzing trends in the enterprise IT security space and the threat landscape. In his role at SecurityWeek he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and manages several leading security conferences.