the Pipeline

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It takes kryptonite to make Superman vulnerable, but a simple bit of carelessly written code can do it for a software product.

That's why Microsoft Corp. is forever issuing patches for its products and why dozens of other companies have built their business on identifying and fixing security holes.

GFI Software Ltd. has released a major upgrade of its LANguard Network Security Scanner, which scans networks to find and fix security holes. Version 5 features improved filtering and reporting, the easy creation of scans and vulnerability tests, better patch management and improved Linux/Unix security scanning.

The system can deploy missing service packs and patches networkwide, without user intervention. Managers can add new vulnerability checks to tailor the system for work on a specific network. Officials at London-based GFI have also added

Linux-specific security checks and plan to continuously add more.

Endforce Inc. and Shavlik Technologies LLC, two Midwestern firms, have formed a partnership to integrate security policy enforcement with patch-assessment capabilities.

Endforce's software helps organizations define, assess and enforce security policies, and report on compliance. Shavlik's HFNetChkPro security patch-management product allows systems to detect unpatched security holes and apply the necessary patches.

F-Secure Corp. released F-Secure Anti-Virus Small Business Suite, aimed at small and midsize businesses. It includes antivirus and firewall protection for workstations and laptop computers, and virus protection for Microsoft Exchange e-mail servers and Windows file servers.

The suite adds protection not found in a typical antivirus product, according to company officials.

Senforce Technologies Inc. added storage-device control to its Enterprise Mobile Security Manager Version 2.5. The system can operate in three modes to protect notebook computers from data theft and can selectively lock or unlock specified data sources, such as the hard disk, CD or DVD drives or other attached storage devices, to control access to data.

The system includes bridge blocking, a feature that disables Windows XP's ability to allow multiple network adapters in the same computer to pass network traffic to one another without security checks. When wireless and wired network adapters are present, the feature can create security vulnerabilities by potentially broadcasting data wirelessly.

It also includes rogue access-point detection, meaning it can locate unauthorized access points where prohibited users might be able to intercept information.

Cosaint Inc. has added an automatic security reminder feature to its hosted security-awareness training programs. Company officials, aware that security-awareness training must be ongoing, designed the feature to frequently remind users to be cautious of certain threats.

The service sends automated e-mail messages under the direction of an organization's managers. The system can be customized to reflect specific issues, but it comes with a default set of reminders that cover topics including

e-mail attachments, choosing and managing passwords, recognizing phishing scams intended to trick people into divulging personal information, and the importance of security patches.

Here comes the Cisco Kid

When Cisco Systems Inc. officials want to release new products for the government, they don't just issue an announcement. Instead, they commandeer part of a building and bring in agency leaders and scientists for panel discussions, as they did recently in the nation's


In this case, it's a big-ticket item — the CRS-1 Carrier Routing System, which starts at $450,000.

The CRS-1 is part of a new class of routing systems, intended to deliver continuous operation and flexibility and to outlast other technologies.

Based around a converged IP network, the routing system will be available in July.

Cisco has also co-developed a neural network with Premonition Software. This artificial intelligence technology can learn and adapt as new information arrives.

To test the technology, officials from the two companies used it at the Indianapolis 500 during the Memorial Day weekend. Cars owned by Cheever Group's Red Bull

Cheever Racing were fitted with Cisco routers and wireless bridges, which fed data back to the neural network technology in the garage, pit stand and communications trailer.

Speaking of Cisco, Tandem Systems Ltd.'s WinAgents Software Group recently released IOS Config Editor 3.0, which company officials describe as an "essential tool for remote administration of Cisco routers."

The editor includes remote administration ability, built-in backup options and support for multiple devices.


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