September 28, 2004 - 12:00
GFI is launching a freeware version of GFI LANguard Portable Storage Control (P.S.C.), its new network security product that can prevent unauthorized users from taking information from the network or introducing malware via USB (Universal Serial Bus) sticks and other removable media (such as floppies and CDs). The product also allows administrators to control the connection of devices that can register storage in Windows, such as iPods, smartphones, digital cameras and handhelds. GFI is offering a full version of GFI LANguard P.S.C. for five machines as freeware.
The need to control entry and exit of data via USB sticks and other devices
Companies are investing heavily in network antivirus software, email and web content security, and firewalls. Yet, in most companies, any user at the office can plug in a USB stick and take in/out 1GB of data. This poses a tremendous threat: Users can take confidential data that they have access to, or they can introduce viruses, Trojans, illegal software and more – actions that can severely affect an organization and its network. Yet, so far, companies had no way of controlling this.
GFI LANguard P.S.C. changes all this by giving the administrator control over which users can plug in a USB or other removable storage device and access CDs and floppies.
A serious new threat to businesses
This is necessary because, as technology analyst Gartner has warned, portable devices containing a USB or FireWire connection are a serious new threat to businesses. In a July 2004 report, Gartner named portable storage devices as a significant security risk in the workplace and advised that these can be used both to download confidential data, and also to introduce a virus into the company network. Gartner’s report listed pocket-sized hard drives that connect using FireWire or USB hard drive or keychain drive, disk-based MP3 players such as the iPod, and digital cameras with smart media cards, memory sticks, compact flash and other memory media as potential security threats.
How GFI LANguard P.S.C. works
To provide network administrators with network-wide control (commercial version) of which users can plug in a USB or other removable storage device, GFI LANguard P.S.C. installs a small footprint agent on the user’s machine. This agent is only 1.2MB in size – the user will never know it is there. GFI LANguard P.S.C. includes a remote deployment tool, allowing administrators to deploy the agent to hundreds of machines with just a few clicks. After installation, the agent queries Active Directory when the user logs on and sets permissions to removable storage accordingly. If the user is not a member of a group that is permitted access, then access to the device/CD/floppy is denied.
About the freeware version
The GFI LANguard P.S.C. freeware version can be downloaded from http://www.gfi.com/lanpsc/. The download is a full version of GFI LANguard P.S.C. (7.6MB) that times out after the 60-day evaluation period, unless a special freeware key for a five-computer version is entered; this key is emailed to downloaders automatically after they download the product. User-to-user support is available at http://forums.gfi.com.
About GFI LANguard Portable Storage Control (commercial version)
GFI LANguard Portable Storage Control (P.S.C.) grants administrators network-wide control over which users can use removable storage such as USB sticks, CDs, floppies, smartphones, MP3 players, handhelds, digital cameras and more. It is available from distributors around the world or online at the GFI website (http://www.gfi.com). It is highly cost-effective with prices starting at US$295 to monitor up to 25 computers; a version for up to 100 computers costs $495. For more information and to download the product, one can visit http://www.gfi.com/lanpsc/.
GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. With award-winning technology, an aggressive pricing strategy and a strong focus on small-to-medium sized businesses, GFI is able to satisfy the need for business continuity and productivity encountered by organizations on a global scale. GFI has offices in the US, Malta, UK, Hong Kong and Australia which support more than 200,000 installations worldwide. GFI is a channel-focused company with over 10,000 partners worldwide. GFI is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. More information about GFI can be found at http://www.gfi.com.