Management Software Offers Slew of Security Perks

Protecting mission-critical data means looking at port and USB vulnerabilities.

The Israeli military—looking for surefire ways to protect mission-critical data—is reported to have recently applied epoxy to each of its laptop USB ports. Enterprises may not need to take such extreme measures but, as USB and port threats rise, they should consider solutions that will protect data beyond company walls. One vendor says it has a management product that can do just that.

The release of ScriptLogic’s (http://www.scriptlogic.com) Desktop Authority 7.5 provides enterprises with a Windows management solution that places data security at the forefront. The Boca Raton, Fla.-based company has always offered a motley crew of security features that include patch management, malware prevention, and spyware prevention. The software’s latest version completes the Windows lifecycle security coverage with the addition of its USB and Port Security option.

“Malware and spyware are coming through USB devices, which some enterprises fail to realize is a threat,” said Nick Cavalancia, vice president of marketing at ScriptLogic. “It’s great that they’re protecting within their environment, but they’re not really thinking about protection when the data leaves the environment.”

The USB and Port Security feature enables enterprises control read-and-write access for all of a system’s removable components, through the lockdown process. These components include USB sticks, PCMCIA devices, CD-RW/DVD, MP3 players, PDAs, Smart Phones, modems, FireWire, and Bluetooth. To limit hassle for the end user, the software lets enterprises leverage partial restrictions. For example, rather than entirely restricting access to a sensitive CD device, IT administrators can limit use to read-only access. According to Cavalancia, customers are clamoring for an all-encompassing, “centralized” solution.

“The challenge for the enterprise isn’t pushing up a patch, locking a USB port, or preventing malware; the challenge is automating that,” he says.

By automation, Cavalancia is referring to refresh functions that update and modify desktop configuration for both notebooks and PCs. Desktop Authority executes the refreshes routinely, at regular intervals. The product aims to provide enterprises with a hassle-free management of the Windows desktop as well as a hacker-free environment.

Thanks to mandated compliance standards, those in the health care and financial sectors have historically been at the forefront with security solution deployment. As solutions become more cost effective, other enterprises are following suit.

“Enterprises looking to reduce the cost of desktop ownership and achieve desktop security and compliance objectives can now get everything from a single vendor,” notes Andrew Langsam, COO of ScriptLogic.

Additional security options include the product’s patch deployment (currently deployed by the City of Raleigh, N.C.), which covers Microsoft applications and third-party applications such as Firefox. Its anti-spyware option scans for threats in real time, providing back-end reporting that displays what users are trying to gain access to and when that access is prohibited. Beyond the add-ons, the software also comes with built-in security measures such as its inactivity timers and group policy settings.

ScriptLogic is offering a free 30-day trial of the software. The USB and Port Security function sells on a per-seat basis, starting at $10 per seat. Desktop Authority 7.5 is available now.

About the Author

Jason Turcotte is an assistant editor at Application Development Trends, online at ADTmag.com.

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