According to estimates by Gartner Research, the costs related to the loss of a single laptop or unauthorized access to a company's computer network may reach as high as $1.32 million dollars — even if the breach does not lead to any further security issues such as the misuse of the lost data.

Trusted Computing is the IT industry's answer to the growing challenges and potential costs of network and data security breaches. At its highest level, it aims to create secure computing environments for a range of industries without compromising functional integrity, privacy or individual rights. In more practical terms, Trusted Computing encompasses a range of technologies and standards intended to make computers safer, more reliable and less prone to viruses and malware. It can also help make management of network security more effective and efficient.

Several major hardware manufacturers and software vendors, collectively known as the Trusted Computing Group, work together in order to establish specific practices and standards for developing and applying relevant technologies. These include:

Self-Encrypting Drives (SEDs)

SEDs protect sensitive data on network endpoint devices, such as laptops, that operate outside the protection of the network firewall. They represent the industry's premier solution for full disk encryption, enabling enterprises to protect data even when a machine or drive is lost or stolen. The Trusted Computing Group's Opal standard is the industry benchmark for SED interoperability and reliability.

Trusted Platform Modules (TPMs)

More than 500,000,000 PCs have shipped with an embedded security token called a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). Today, virtually every business-class laptop comes equipped with these cryptographic chips, which deliver capabilities beyond traditional tokens or smart cards. The key differentiator: TPMs uniquely support both user and machine authentication in one token.