GFI LANguard P.S.C.
GFI LANguard Portable Storage Control (P.S.C.) from GFI Software is a network security product that prevents unauthorized users from taking information from the network or from introducing malicious software (malware) through USB and other removable media. The software also lets you control connected devices such as Apple Computer's iPods, smart phones, digital cameras, and handheld devices that can register storage in Windows. The solution installs a small footprint agent on the user's machine so that you can control which users can plug in a USB or removable storage device. You can also use the tool to control access to any device that can be mounted as a hard disk. You can centrally disable users from reading or writing data from or to a CD-ROM or 3.5" disk so that users can't introduce data that might harm your network.
"In a July 2004 report, Gartner stated that portable storage devices pose a significant security risk in the workplace and advised that employees can use these devices both to download confidential data and to introduce a virus into the company network. Companies are underestimating the danger of the uncontrolled use of USB sticks and removable media at work," said Nick Galea, GFI Software CEO. "The market is ripe for a network security product such as GFI LANguard P.S.C. to block such security threats in an efficient, fuss-free manner."
GFI LANguard P.S.C. lets you configure through Active Directory (AD) which user accounts have access to devices. You grant a user access by making him or her a member of a predefined AD group; the software provides a group for different kinds of devices. You can also make an entire department a member of the group. Other storage-control software requires you to make all configuration changes on a cumbersome per-machine basis before the settings can take effect, whereas GFI LANguard P.S.C. leverages AD for configuration tasks. Pricing starts at $295 to monitor as many as 25 computers. If you want to monitor 100 computers, pricing is $495.
BACKUP AND RECOVERY
Replicate, Synchronize, and Back Up in Real Time
AAR Software released Network File Monitor Professional—backup, replication, and synchronization software that you can run as an application or a network service. The software works over LAN, WAN, and the Internet. The product's built-in schedule lets you set a date and time for tasks that you want it to perform. You can have the product distribute files through the LAN, FTP, or email. The Auto Retry feature lets you automatically restart interrupted tasks when errors occur during automatic operations. You can use the software to automate tasks such as one-to-one and one-to-many synchronization, monitoring free disk space on local and remote computers, launching selected programs, compressing files, executing system commands, and including or excluding files and folders from a backup. The built-in backup feature can perform full or partial backups to a variety of storage media. For pricing, contact AAR Software.
BACKUP AND RECOVERY
Clone Hard Disks
Future Systems Solutions released Casper XP 2.0, hard disk cloning software that features SmartWrite II technology, which can make point-in-time copies of Windows XP system hard disks while users continue to operate their computers. You can schedule Casper XP to run copies daily, weekly, monthly, or at another time you specify. Other features include a new command-line interface option, new configuration capabilities, support for copying dynamic volumes, the ability to repair damaged boot records, and options to change the active partition and drive letter assignments. Casper XP creates a fully bootable backup copy of a system drive so that you don't need special rescue disks or data-restoration processes in the event of a hard disk failure. The software, which runs on XP and Windows 2000, costs $44.95 and includes Drive2Drive, Future System Solutions' Windows Me and Windows 98's hard disk backup and upgrade tool.
Defend Educational Networks
Central Command announced the Vexira Antivirus Safe@School initiative, a program designed to defend educational networks from virus attacks. Vexira Antivirus is scalable, multiplatform antivirus software that closely monitors local hard disks, network drives, email attachments, and Internet downloads for viruses and other suspicious activity. Vexira Antivirus features automatic antivirus updates, unattended deployment and version upgrades, password-protected configuration options, and minimal hardware requirements. The software can also detect and disinfect Microsoft Office viruses. Through the initiative, educational institutions can purchase a 1-year license for $1.79 per Windows or Linux workstation. The minimum purchase is $300 per year.
Automatically Install Patches
Ecora Software released Ecora Patch Manager 4.0, patch-management software that features new enhance-ments, including graphical reports, an optional agent, and integration with Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS), Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), and Windows Update Services (WUS). Patch Manager's 30 reports include graphical representations of installed patches, missing patches (by machine, by severity, and in total), and overall policy compliance. Optional agent operation can improve performance by reducing network traffic and minimizing bandwidth consumption. The software adds patch analysis and reporting capabilities that aren't available from SUS, and SMS users can use Patch Manager to deliver and install patches according to established network policy. For pricing, contact Ecora Software.
Visualize Network Flow
MetaProducts released Net Activity Diagram 2.0, an application that monitors your computer network and Internet activity. You can use the software to visualize the flow of your network. You can view all established connections, monitor network traffic over time, and set up various notifications. The software displays network activity by using floating windows and tray icons. The Smart Filtering feature can monitor network traffic according to Internet protocol. Net Activity Diagram analyzes Internet connections independently from port numbers so that you can see Web, FTP, streaming media, and other activity separately. The application notifies you when traffic exceeds your predefined limits. You can receive notification via email, sound, or an application launch. Net Activity Diagram costs $29.95 and runs on Windows 2003/XP/2000/NT/Me/9x systems.
Set Privileges at the Application Level
NeoValens released NeoExec for Active Directory, software that lets you set privileges at the application level rather than the user level. The software can let you use an unprivileged user account to execute applications that require elevated privileges. Features include an administrative console that integrates into Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Group Policy management, automatic policy distribution by Group Policy Objects (GPOs), and a wizard-based interface. NeoExec for Active Directory fully integrates into Active Directory (AD) without modifying the schema. For pricing, contact NeoValens.
Natively Manage Non-Windows Clients from SMS
Vintela released Vintela Management Extensions (VMX), software that provides an extensible framework for natively managing and monitoring non-Windows clients from within Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003. VMX is an SMS administration console snap-in and client that lets you use existing SMS management points and distribution points to manage UNIX, Linux, and Mac OS X systems. The application uses the same data stores, classes, objects, and attributes that SMS uses. For pricing, contact Vintela.