FSLogic Inc.s Protect Version 1.0 software lets administrators effortlessly provide multiple users with secure access to a Windows PC without setting up complex security policies.
FSLogic Protect 1.0, available now, uses a proprietary file-system-layer technology that maintains a controlled footprint of application settings and registry data. Each users session can be saved in a file-system layer, and the data can be copied and modified without changing the original Windows configuration.
Protect is priced at $80 per desktop system, with no user limits. Volume discounts can cut the price to $58 per system for sites that deploy more than 2,000 units.
Each users session profile is persistent and can thus be moved or migrated to another desktop running Protect. Administrators can also opt to store user profiles on shared storage so that users can have access to their desktop in a larger shared environment.
Protects flexible computer-sharing capabilities make it a sensible choice for securing open-access desktop systems in educational settings, call centers and lab environments.
FSLogic faces competition from such system integrity software as Faronics Corp.s DeepFreeze and Centurion Technologies Inc.s DriveShield. Like Protect, DriveShield gives full access to multiple users but restores the system to the base line when it reboots. Protect can preserve each users changes and restore to any machine with the software installed.
FSLogic Protect 1.0
FSLogics Protect software is a good tool for securing and conserving user profiles on open-access Windows workstations. Protect allows users to easily manage and maintain a base-line configuration of a shared system. FSLogic Protect is priced at $80 per system for an unlimited number of users.
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However, both DriveShield and DeepFreeze work with most Windows operating systems, whereas Protect works with only Windows 2000, XP or Windows Server 2003. Faronics also offers a Mac OS version of DeepFreeze.
Because Protect uses Windows file-system access control to enforce security, it must also be installed on a disk volume with NTFS.
The minimum processor and memory requirements are the same as those for the operating system, but the amount of additional storage required is determined by the number of users who access the system with saved sessions. Protect can take advantage of a shared network store, such as a network-attached storage device, so users can roam across multiple desktops running Protect within a network.
In tests, we easily installed Protect on a desktop running Windows XP. The Protect user interface allowed us to configure the settings for each user, including where to store the profile data for user sessions that we want to save. However, we had to ensure that the volume we used to save session data was the same as the initial data store we specified when we installed the software.
We also had to delegate a user as the Protect Administrator. By default, this will be the desktops local administrator. The Protect Administrator controls access rights and policies for all other non-Administrator users.
Protect also supports users who are not defined locally, although the local administrator must set up an exception account to protect these users.
We set up several users in our tests and were able to save or remove changes made by these different users. Regardless of whether they were desktop and application settings, registry data or installed applications, Protect tracked and kept our base-line configurations untouched.
Technical Analyst Francis Chu can be reached at email@example.com.