Products secure corporate networks from infections

Product announcements in April from three security companies underscore the growing interest in so-called “end point” security products that protect corporate networks from infections introduced by mobile or remote employees.

Symantec Corp., Configuresoft Inc. and StillSecure announced new products or product updates to secure mobile computers and enforce security policies on remote machines that are trying to connect to corporate networks. These vendors are just the latest to offer a technology fix for companies plagued by worms and viruses that jump from mobile computers and home offices onto corporate networks.

StillSecure of Louisville, Colorado, offers StillSecure Safe Access 1.0, an endpoint security product that tests network devices for compliance with security policies when they attempt to connect to a network through a common gateway, virtual private network (VPN), wireless or dial-up connection. The product does not require a separate software agent to be installed on remote computers, but uses a Linux-based server to manage clients, according to StillSecure.

Administrators can choose from a number of predefined compliance tests, which verify the operating system version and the presence of fixes for vulnerabilities.

Configuration management company Configuresoft of Woodland Park, Co., announced that a new version of that company’s Enterprise Configuration Manager (ECM) product will automatically assess and correct configuration settings on remote machines when they try to connect to a network. Configuresoft’s technology focuses on enforcing network security policies regarding device configuration. ECM can look at a device configuration with granular detail, taking a picture of a device’s configuration and storing that in a central database. The product can track up to 80,000 configuration settings for a device, and typically captures around 25,000 unique settings for workstations and 50,000 for servers, said Configuresoft.

Meanwhile, Symantec, of Cupertino, Calif., said its new version of its Client Security product, Symantec Client Security Version 2.0, is an integrated antivirus, firewall and intrusion prevention product that protects machines from viruses and other unauthorized intrusions and introduces a number of new features. A location-awareness feature will adjust client security settings depending on location, tightening defences if a machine is accessing the Internet through an unprotected wireless “hot spot,” and loosening them when the device is connected behind a network firewall. A

VPN Compliancy Check feature allows administrators using firewalls by Symantec partners such as Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. and Nortel Networks Corp. to block access to devices that do not meet corporate security standards, Symantec said.

In recent months, Cisco Systems Inc. and IBM Corp. announced they were collaborating to address endpoint security for networks. Microsoft Corp. in April indicated that it is also entering the endpoint security game.

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