Here's a glimpse into the future: Your company hires a new employee, and instead of outfitting him or her with a laptop, you simply hand the new worker a USB memory stick and explain that it can be plugged into any computer with a USB port to securely access the company's applications and email server. Not only that, but any data the employee stores on the device will be encrypted and the device will generate a one-time password to use for logon.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

            Your company, and your new hires, might not be quite ready for that scenario yet, but it's a possibility that RedCannon Security would be happy to have you consider. The company's KeyPoint line of products manages and secures USB memory sticks. According to John Jeffries, vice president of marketing for RedCannon, "USB drives are in the enterprise and out of control," but companies are beginning to see that they need to gain the upper hand over these small, portable devices that are so easy to copy data to and so easy to lose or steal.

            RedCannon KeyPoint has an appliance that provisions any USB stick with KeyPoint client software and then manages that device according to company policies. All data on the device is encrypted. KeyPoint can lock out a drive that is lost or stolen or destroy it. The appliance can push important, sensitive data to the device, and KeyPoint can monitor and report on what happens on a device even when it's offline.

            Additionally, KeyPoint client software can scan for threats on a PC that you plug it into, and if you have rights to the PC, sanitize it, and if not, limit your access to corporate resources. Citrix and VPN software provide access to company applications from the KeyPoint-enabled device, and RSA support lets you use one-time passwords for authentication to the company network. With these capabilities, a USB memory stick starts to look more and more like a possible laptop substitute.

            For more information about KeyPoint, go to http://www.redcannon.com.