Configuresoft Inc. is turning its desktop configuration sights to the safekeeping of mobile clients with the next release of its configuration management tool.
The new release of Enterprise Configuration Manager, which provides change and configuration management for Microsoft Corp. Windows systems, includes a mobile client that can initiate contact with the ECM Server whenever the mobile workstation is connected to the network. ECM will then assess and correct configuration settings by comparing the laptops configuration and patch levels with standards predefined by IT.
The ECM Server determines what collection or patch deployment is appropriate for the speed setting of the connection, according to Stephen Southey, product manager at Configuresoft, in Woodland Park, Colo. The mobile agent and the ECM Server communicate using HTTP over Port 80.
Incorrect configurations are responsible for 80 percent of PC downtime and 90 percent of security breaches, according to Alex Goldstein, CEO of Configuresoft.
The new release also includes templates that help users assess compliance with such government regulations as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Sarbanes-Oxley and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act for banking. The templates allow users to enforce configurations that comply with security best practices as defined by The SANS Institute, Microsoft and National Institute of Standards and Technology.
"We have templates with industry security standards and complement that with tools that give granular detail on who has access to the confidential areas you are trying to protect. We monitor who has access on a regular basis," Goldstein said.
"In many companies, the whole process of configuration and change management is poorly structured. They are done manually, lack processes, have undocumented procedures and lax control. At the same time, a small change in one area improperly applied can have catastrophic effects. Its a fundamental problem that, if not addressed through automation and process, will continue to grow," he said.
Thanks to the increasing frequency of desktop configuration changes, management has become a major problem, said Rich Ptak, analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates, in Amherst, N.H.
The new version of ECM is available now. Pricing for the software starts at $995 per server and $30 per managed node.