The Acer TravelMate P255-M-5467 has all the normal security features found in Windows 7 notebooks. However, organizations looking to deploy a fleet of these solid general-purpose notebooks may want to consider adding Acer's ProShield protection, which beefs up defenses, prevents snooping of discarded material and adds an optional layer of central management.
Acer ProShield works with the onboard Trusted Platform Module security chip to ensure that no tampering has occurred before the notebook can boot. The entire hard drive can also be encrypted, or personal drives can be carved out to encrypt. In either case, files are kept in an encrypted state so no information can be stolen from a removed drive.
The added security also includes several new layers of password protection. For instance, a preboot password prevents the device from even attempting to power up unless the correct password is entered, stopping most attacks against a lost or stolen notebook while rendering the equipment worthless to anyone but an authorized user. Administrators can optionally configure a master password in addition to the one set up by the user, so the notebook can be activated and redeployed even if the previous user's information is no longer available.
The ProShield protection also enables administrators to set security policies for all notebooks within their organization and push out updates and BIOS patches.
Finally, the ProShield adds a file shredder that can replace the standard recycle bin icon.
Certified to the Defense Department's 5220.22-M standard for the disposal and overwriting of classified information, the file-killing tool works relatively quickly and can permanently erase about a gigabyte of data per minute.
The clean interface ranks as one of the best parts of Acer ProShield Protection because it puts everything in once place with a neutral background. To set up policies for a local machine, simply check a few boxes and let the software do the rest. Rebooting the machine puts the changes into effect.
Using Acer ProShield with a single Acer TravelMate P255 or an entire fleet of notebooks can increase security without adding a lot of complexity, making an enterprisewide deployment even more valuable for any state or local government.
Read our full review of the Acer TravelMate P255-M-5467 here.