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Offload PC Security -- Yoggie Systems

The never-ending mess with Windows and viruses and spyware is an embarrassment to the IT industry -- Even as a computing professional, it's a pain to try to keep my own system safe, much less help friends and grandparents set up a simple system to get online to send e-mail and check the Web without running into trouble. Technology like protected operating systems and hardware virtual machines have been around for decades, but on today's PCs it's still horribly easy to accidentally click the wrong thing and suddenly find your entire system under attack.

Even worse, it's a pain to keep up the effort to try to defend yourself -- loading and managing multiple (and sometimes conflicting) applications, clicking through incomprehensible warning pop-ups (and nags to buy upgrades), and then suffering through slow-downs as the software sucks up your processor running scans and downloading updates.

A better answer is to off-load all this checking and scanning onto another device, like an enterprise gateway server for businesses. But you still need to be able to defend your personal systems, and your business laptop on the road.

So check out Yoggie Security Systems, which has developed a security engine that off-loads your system by running on a USB stick, and now in an ExpressCard device for laptops.


The Yoggie devices are miniature stand-alone computers -- 520 MHz Intel processor, 128 MB RAM and 128 MB Flash memory, Linux OS, plus 13 security applications built directly into the miniature device (see below). Yoggie offloads all the security processing so that your machine boots and runs faster, and automatic handles security updates and upgrades. (The products include one year of updates, then most have a $30 annual subscription.)

The Yoggie product line includes several USB devices that you plug in to your system:
- Firestick Pico - $119 - Firewall only, no annual subscription
- Gatekeeper Pico - $149 - For consumers
- Gatekeeper Pico Pro - $199 - For corporate, with VPN and centralized management

Plus Yoggie is now adding the same capabilities in a laptop card that you can insert and forget, instead of having to plug in a USB device:
- Gatekeeper Card Pro - $199 / $159 - Security computer in a ExpressCard

Yoggie also offers two corporate devices that are physically separate from your computer on your network connection, and which can be remotely managed and monitored by the IT organization:
- GateKeeper Pro - $220 - For corporate, with pass-though network connection
- Gatekeeper SOHO - $249 - Network protection for up to 5 computers.

See my Portable Storage Gallery for details and comparisons on memory cards, USB drives, and hard disk storage.

    Find the Yoggie Gatekeeper Pico on Amazon.com

More on the Yoggie software ...



Use the Yoggie Console Management software to view the status of the device and change security settings, including opening ports for specific applications.

The 12 core Yoggie security applications:

  • Anti-Virus (Kaspersky)
  • Anti-Spyware (Kaspersky)
  • Anti-Phishing (MailShell)
  • Anti-Spam (MailShell)
  • Intrusion Detection System / Intrusion Prevention System (Snort)
  • Firewall (stateful inspection) and NAT (based on Linux Netfilter/IPTables firewall)
  • Web Filtering/ Parental Content Control (SurfControl)
  • Adaptive Security Policy
  • Multi-Layer Security Agent
  • Layer-8 Security Engine (Patent pending)
  • 2 Transparent Email Proxies (POP3, SMTP)
  • 2 Transparent Web Proxies (HTTP, FTP)

For additional protection when setting up your laptop in a new location, you can set up your system to disable communications until you plug in the Yoggie device.

These applications provide network security by scanning data flowing through your network connections; they do not scan your local files on hard disks or removable drives. However, Yoggie also includes a regular Windows software version of Kaspersky anti-virus that you can install on your computer, useful for cleaning the computer before installing Yoggie, and especially for scanning newly-installed removable drives.

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