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Keeping Software Updated in a Multi-platform Environment

on December 5, 2012

The typical system administrator in a small- to medium-sized business (SMB) has many time-consuming tasks to keep the network secure, guarantee 24*7 corporate email availability, allocate and configure new machines as new employees join and help the CEO with the latest gadget several times per month, amongst myriad other tasks.

One popular CEO gadget is a Mac laptop, even when the rest of the company has standardised on PC workstations and laptops.

There is also a growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) where laptops, mobile phones, even tablets from home are expected to be embraced by the corporate network. How is the overworked system administrator meant to balance the requirements of supporting these devices, without compromising the security of the corporate network?

BYOD is causing CEO gadgetry to spread to the CxOs, executives and even down to grass-roots employees. Its benefits of being able to use the device of choice to maximize productivity when on the road, at home, out of the office or even on vacation, outweigh the potential threats to security – at least in the minds of those not responsible for maintaining security.

Yet such threats of exposing the network to malware and other vulnerabilities which can result in data loss and network downtime cannot be ignored. Unless the system administrators can use sophisticated tools to help him or her, there is a real risk to the security of the network. For some businesses, any network breaches can mean failure to meet security compliance standards which may translate to lawsuits and fines.

Scanning for vulnerabilities and remediating any found through automatic patch management is a must. And it can’t be limited to the Windows machines on your network. It needs to work cross platform, and a vital first step is to support the Macintoshes on the network.

These can be “executive gadget”-style Macs, but also many businesses have their own design departments, where Mac desktops and laptops are prevalent.

The latest version of GFI LanGuard 2012 supports patching of the Mac OS X operating system and its applications, in addition to patching Windows operating systems, Windows applications and other third party applications such as Adobe, Firefox and Safari. Check it out – it will make your life as a SysAdmin easier, boost the security of your network and help to keep you compliant.

About the Author:

Leigh Dworkin is a product management and product marketing management professional for global software companies in the UK and US. Currently at GFI Software responsible for network security solutions, he was at Myriad Group AG and Esmertec AG working on Java Virtual Machines for mobile and Blu-ray markets and Insignia Solutions Inc. previously, working on PC Emulation. He has a Masters degree in mathematics from Churchill College, Cambridge, UK.