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Toshiba broadens security portfolio

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Toshiba South Africa has announced Toshiba Mobile Zero Client (TMZC), the first mobile zero client solution based on standard laptops that enables companies to perform all IT-based tasks with all data stored away from a set device, offering IT teams unrivalled levels of security, mobility and manageability.
With no operating system or hard drive (HDD), TMZC allows users to access their own virtual desktop, whether at work or at home, with no data hosted locally on either the HDD or solid state drive (SSD).
All functionality and data is available through a cloud-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), eliminating the possibility of malware being stored on the device and minimising risk of data theft if PCs are lost or stolen.
TMZC offers customers computing without leaving a digital footprint, as well as a simple installation process due to its compatibility with many companies’ existing IT infrastructure.
TMZC is available across a wide range of Toshiba’s latest business laptop range, which was built on the company’s core pillars of security, reliability, connectivity and manageability. Beyond supporting the storage of data securely away from the device, on this latest range of laptops, TMZC can provide added protection through Toshiba’s uniquely developed BIOS, designed and built in-house to remove any risk of third-party party interference. The zero client BIOS is designed to restrict connections to the management server through authentication and deny any attempt of booting from external devices or unauthorised networks.
“TMZC empowers your staff to work remotely using award-wining Toshiba hardware and supports all major VDI solutions, including Citrix and VMware, which means getting started is easy, and there’s no need to alter your infrastructure. So you get all the benefits of a zero client solution, with lower installation costs, improved security and higher return on investment,” says Ronald Ravel, business unit director: PC B2B at Toshiba South Africa.
Securing company data while also embracing efficient, mobile ways of working remains a priority for businesses, particularly within the mid-size and corporate space. TMZC will allow these organisations to take this a step further, eliminating the security vulnerabilities which can arise from using a thin client solution and less mobile solutions currently available to them, while also not compromising the original functionality and capabilities of the device.
“Thin clients offer flexibility in terms of how companies can store and access their data, which can pave the way to a more productive workforce, but these solutions often still have their risks and challenges,” says Ravel. “For example, while security clearance processes are built in to protect an organisation’s data, the personal authentication inputs required to access information on the device are also stored on it.
“As a result this information, and in turn any sensitive details stored on the device, can be vulnerable. Thin clients also run an operating system on the device itself, which can be costly and time consuming to maintain across a fleet of products.”

Control, cost savings and security in the mobile era
Businesses will have the opportunity to receive expert guidance from Toshiba and its partners when considering moving to a mobile zero client way of working to ensure staff continue to have access to the data and software required. The agile endpoint management solution will also give IT staff the flexibility and power to centrally control access rights to designated data and programmes, helping to prevent misuse and further securing company assets.
Unlike thin and other zero client alternatives currently available, TMZC gives companies the ability, but also the complete confidence, to support mobile working securely, enabling employees to work productively and efficiently, regardless of their location, which supports companies that are exploring off-premise working patterns.
It will also help to pave the way to long-term cost savings. For example, a business could reduce the amount of office space it requires for fixed working, which can also lead to lower energy use. This is in addition to helping to reduce the amount of equipment companies need to purchase and maintain.
TMZC on Toshiba’s latest business laptops range also brings additional security benefits from the moment they are switched on as Toshiba’s boot control service is built on the secured and reliable Microsoft Azure data centres. The boot control service prevents start-up of lost or stolen devices rendering them unusable as it is not possible to run or install traditional operating systems on them. The authentication happens during every start-up and at periodic intervals while the system is active to allow remote shut down of devices if required.

Tailored support and simple integration
TMZC is a highly flexible solution which seamlessly functions with both Citrix and VMware, and so it can be easily integrated into existing IT infrastructures. The solution is also installed within the company’s current network, which not only complements its secure nature, but also removes the need for any costly or time-consuming installation processes.
“Toshiba Mobile Zero Client provides enhanced functionality and security to the modern, mobile, mid-size and corporate market, and in the most manageable and cost effective way the industry has seen,” says Ravel. “TMZC underlines our commitment to remaining a step ahead of the ever-evolving requirements of today’s business market.
“With a thirty-year heritage in the industry, we understand every business is different and has a variety of needs and budgets, and this solution responds to the flexibility and security demands we’re seeing from our customers today. Furthermore, TMZC is tailored for each company to ensure that the solution meets companies’ individual requirements.”
The solution is already being trialled by Toshiba customers across various industries, including those where compliance and security regulations are particularly stringent. Toshiba is currently also developing future connectivity options, such as LTE, with the potential to enable greater levels of off-premise functionality in the future.