Silverback Assesses Need for Windows Patches

Release 3.8 helps identify, prioritize and mitigate Microsoft Windows vulnerabilities.

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Silverback Technologies Inc. this week will jump on the patch management bandwagon with a new version of its IT resource monitoring software that adds automated vulnerability assessment.

Silverbacks software monitors network, system, application and firewall availability and performance for medium-sized customers. Release 3.8 emphasizes the ability to identify, prioritize and mitigate Microsoft Windows vulnerabilities.

"Were doing the assessment piece. We dont do mass deployment of patches," said Deb MacCallum, cofounder and vice president of research and development at Silverback in Billerica, Mass. "We update our customers on any applications in their environment and let them know where they stand [with new Microsoft bulletins]. They can see across the board how many outstanding patches they need to deploy or how many SQL Server machines would be affected by attacks [against those specific servers]."

With Microsoft "on a path to do 300 patches this year," staying current and prioritizing which vulnerabilities need the most immediate attention can be difficult—especially for organizations with small IT staffs.


The fact that the new patch management function does not do patch deployment is just fine with new customer Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. "I just want to identify whats out there for me to patch my servers. I can use this software instead of having to check myself to see whats out there," said Anthony Peleska, technical services lead at the state agency in St. Paul.

The tool exploits the same user interface end users interact with to do firewall monitoring, operating system tracking and reporting, virus screening, and so on. Users can also pull down patches through the user interface.

The new release, which adds other security functions, can scan for and report on viruses as well as unauthorized guest accounts and version vulnerabilities. It also tracks security events for Windows servers such as changes in accounts or policies.

New firewall monitoring functions include the ability to detect unauthorized connection or port scan attempts on firewall and virtual private network products from Cisco Systems Inc., Checkpoint Software Technologies Inc., Watchguard Technologies Inc., Sonicwall Inc. and Netscreen Technologies Inc.

Release 3.8 also adds the ability to consolidate alerts from Norton and McAfee antivirus tools into the Silverback dashboard to ensure virus screening is working properly or requires an update.

The software supports Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Exchange, SQL Server, Windows Terminal Server, Internet Information Server and Internet Explorer.