HP's Memory Spot presents security challenge

HP's Memory Spot chip presents a potential security risk for companies, but it can be managed through the implementation of good security policies.

Hewlett-Packard's tiny Memory Spot chip is designed to put digital information on documents and photos. However, the chip's size and wireless capability can also be used by corporate thieves to copy and steal valuable data.

While the Memory Spot presents an added security challenge for companies, the risk can be managed, said James McQuivey, a professor at Boston University's College of Communication.

Unveiled on Monday, the prototype Memory Spot is roughly the same size as a grain of rice and can store up to 4M bits of information. There are eight bits in a byte. The chip has an antenna that can transfer data at speeds up to 10M bits per second (bps) and doesn't require its own power source. Instead, the chip draws its power from a chip reader through a process called inductive coupling, which allows power to cross from one component to another over a shared electromagnetic field.

Data stored on Memory Spot chips could be accessed using a variety of devices, such as specially equipped cell phones or PDAs (personal digital assistants), making them suitable for a range of applications, such as stickers applied to a paper document or printed photograph, HP said.

There are other possibilities. Memory Spot, which is not expected to be commercially available for several years, is just one of many devices that can be used by thieves to download and steal corporate information. Corporate security managers already face this threat from USB flash drives, portable hard disks, camera-equipped cell phones, and other devices.

"If you can't manage those today, the Memory Spot will be just another in a long line of possible data loss devices," McQuivey said. Companies that have put strong security policies in place will be able to handle advances in technology that make it possible to steal data, he said.

Memory Spot also offers an opportunity for companies, which can use them to disseminate product brochures and even video, such as commercials, McQuivey said. "This can be as much a positive thing for companies as a negative," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?