Yoggie hails security on a stick

New appliance offers full range of security software on a removable USB stick

Barry Collins
29 May 2007

The innovative start-up firm Yoggie has unveiled what it claims is the world's first full security suite on a USB stick.

The company claims the Yoggie Pico device will screen all internet traffic before it reaches the PC, and without impinging on the computer's processing power. The Linux-based device includes anti-virus, firewall and anti-spam protection among a series of other security applications aimed at both businesses and consumers.

The Pico is essentially a miniature version of the company's recently launched, palmtop-sized Gatekeeper appliance. 'This is the world's most powerful computer at USB size,' company founder Shlomo Touboul told PC Pro at a London briefing. 'The engineering around it was extremely complicated.'

Unlike its bigger brother the Pico doesn't include network interfaces, but Touboul claims the device uses software to divert internet traffic to the USB appliance. 'The device driver takes all the traffic from the network connection and reroutes it - before Windows gets its hands on the traffic - to the Yoggie Pico,' he says.

The chief advantage of this is you 'can offload the security role onto a dedicated second computer' rather than relying on security software that hampers the performance of your PC. 'There's a huge frustration from running security suites on a computer. The market is so ready for an alternative,' Touboul claims.

However, there are downsides to the Pico approach, not least that the device will add about 15-20% to the laptop's power drain, with the knock-on effect on battery life. Some of that power loss may be offset by the reduced load on the PC's CPU and memory.

Yoggie claims the Pico will appeal to businesses who are looking to get tighter control over their remote workers. With the separate management server product (around $5,000) companies can update their security policy over the net and lock down employees' laptops. 'IT managers can enforce their security policy so employees can't connect to the network without their Yoggie Pico,' Toubol says.

And what happens when the field worker forgets to take their USB stick with them? Touboul says firms can opt to allow network traffic without the device, and hinted that the company is working on a PC Card version, which will be easier to leave docked in a laptop.

The business-oriented Yoggie Pico Pro will go on sale from the middle of June and will cost £106 with software licences costing £21 from year two. The consumer Pico Personal - which doesn't include VPN functionality - will cost £95, and £16 for the software licences.

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