Intel embeds multi-factor security into enterprise Core, vPro processors

Intel Authenticate uses everything from personal identification numbers to Bluetooth to location and biometrics to verify identity.

Intel on Tuesday outlined its business enhancements with its 6th generation Core processors with vPro with a theme around business transformation and collaboration. But the real win for enterprises will be a move to preview multifactor authentication embedded in its processors.

The chip giant's Core processors with vPro are built to ride along with Windows 10, which enterprises are adopting faster than expected, said Tom Garrison, Intel's business client general manager. Garrison said Intel initially thought that enterprises would go with Windows 10 in volume in 2017 and 2018, but appear to be thinking mass adoption in late 2016.

With that Windows 10 adoption, Intel sees the opportunity for an upgrade cycle, more ultrabooks in the workplace and collaboration tools as the chip giant aims to shed wires.

However, most technology pros are going to be more interested in the authentication tools Intel will embed. Intel Authenticate uses everything from personal identification numbers to Bluetooth to location and biometrics to verify identity.

Enterprise admins can also set authentication factors based on location. For instance, if a worker is in the office on the network Bluetooth could work. If that worker is remote, biometrics and multiple factors may need to be used. Authenticate is supported by Microsoft Active Directory and other plug-ins.

Here's how it works:

intel-authenticate.png

What Intel's Authenticate setup does is embed user information, IT policies and credential decisions in the hardware.

Garrison said Intel is previewing Authenticate at launch with companies testing capabilities soon. "Deployments will start later in 2016," said Garrison. "Right now companies are previewing it with Core and testing capabilities."

In addition to Authenticate, Intel outlined the following:

  • The latest Core and vPro processors bring quad core processors to mainstream notebooks as well as a Xeon for a mobile workstation.
  • Wireless docking and display tools such as the Intel Pro WiDi wireless display, WiGig wireless docking and Thunderbolt 3 Type-C docking.
  • Technology called Unite that aims to unify with various collaboration systems.
  • A program called Small Business Advantage that aims to embed security and IT chores into the hardware.