Network security is a matter of prime concern for most of the organizations. With changing technology and business models, there has been an increasing need to place confidential data on the network. This can be your own data or your clients’ data entrusted to you. In either case, safeguarding the data is your first responsibility. Now how do you do that is the question. If it’s one or two computers, you can monitor it manually. But what if hundreds of computers are involved? This is where the network security products step in.
In this post, we will review one such product – GFI LANguard, a network security scanning and patch management software.
So, let’s begin with the installation. Like any other software, GFI LANguard also comes with a user manual. But you don’t really need to read that for installation, since it is fairly easy. Nevertheless, it’s always better to go through it once, lest you should miss out on a useful feature or two.
The interface window is divided into various tabs like – Network Audit, Dashboard, Configuration, Utilities, and General.
Once you’ve installed the software, go to the configuration tab and adjust the settings as per your preference, like scheduling a periodic scan, etc.
The ‘Network Audit’ tab is divided into ‘Scan’, ‘Analyze’ and ‘Remediate’ sub-tabs. The scan tab gives you the options to run quick, full, custom scan, etc. Analyze tab will show up the results in an easy to understand layout divided into overview and detailed results. You can see the vulnerability level and the top 3 issues to address here. And under the Remediate tab, you can deploy or uninstall patches, service packs and custom software/applications.
Thus, it helps you with complete risk and vulnerability analysis of the network. May be that’s why the developers call it a ‘Virtual Security Consultant’.
Here are some of the main features of the product:
You can set up and run your own custom vulnerability checks. You can perform scan IP by IP, and on multiple platforms like Windows, Linux & Mac OS. You can blacklist certain programs and applications, and associate them with high security alert. Thus you can identify and patch the vulnerabilities before they are exploted by hackers.
GFI LANguard carries out a comprehensive network audit and presents the report in an easy to understand format. It will provide you with information of the types of software installed, types of USB devices connected, weak passwords, and so on. You can also receive automatic updates on new security holes.
Network-Wide Patch Management
In addition to deploying Microsoft patches and service packs, the software also has the capability to deploy non-Microsoft patches, service packs and custom software. Thus, you get an option to either upgrade or apply patches for applications like Firefox, Thunderbird, Adobe Flash Player, Apple Quicktime, Google Chrome, Safari, Skype, etc.
Some of the other features include:
- A user friendly monitoring dashboard
- An extensive database of vulnerabilities
- Optimizing protection from anti-virus and anti-spyware applications
- Scannig for open ports and port hijacking
- Remote desktop
- Hardware auditing
- Data retrieval from Linux systems
The product follows a variable pricing model based on the number of IPs. You can also download a free trial version. And if that’s not enough a full-featured freeware version is also available for up to 5 IPs.