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Spyrus To Offer 'Secure' Portable Windows OS

Spyrus Inc. plans to release a portable USB device marketed as "secure Windows on a stick."

The new Spyrus Hydra PC secure pocket drive for Windows PCs will be available on March 1, according to company officials. The device can be plugged into any laptop or desktop PC, enabling storage and backup operations. The product uses Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2009. Spyrus, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, worked with Redmond to bring the product to fruition.

"When we first undertook this project in 2008 with Microsoft, we thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice to have your operating environment in your pocket -- not just your data but your whole Windows environment -- and wouldn't it be nice if there were greater surety in security'," said Susan Pontius, Spyrus' CEO, in an interview.

The workforce is becoming increasingly mobile, and so the time was ripe to produce a secure processing environment streamlined for that mobility, she explained.

Initially, government and other public-sector organizations will be the target market. Specific markets include battlefield IT support, electronic health records and the mobile government workforce. The USB drive can support backup, disaster recovery and business continuity operations.

IT organizations typically must guard against security breaches due to the use of portable media and peripheral memory drives by employees. Spyrus pointed to flaws in several vendors' enterprise-grade USB encrypted drives, citing a report by SySS.

The release of the Spyrus Hydra PC pocket drive in March will be a very important "companion to Windows desktop PCs in an administrative and user environment," according to Pontius.

Microsoft welcomed the upcoming release and plans to continue its collaboration with Spyrus.

"There's a strong relationship with our [federal government] sales team and we saw significant short- and long-term synergies with this solution," said David Feldman, Microsoft's senior business development manager, in a phone interview.

Feldman touted the portability and high degree of confidence in an "encrypted drive designed specifically to protect Windows OS architecture" as the main strengths of the collaboration.

About the Author

Jabulani Leffall is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times of London, Investor's Business Daily, The Economist and CFO Magazine, among others.

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