Configuresofts New ECM Can Go Mobile

Updated Enterprise Configuration Manager, which can configure notebooks as well as desktops, is set for release Monday.

Configuresoft Inc. on Monday will turn its desktop-configuration sights on the safekeeping of mobile clients when it launches the next release of its Enterprise Configuration Manager.

The new release, which provides change and configuration management for Windows systems, includes a new mobile client that can initiate contact with the ECM server whenever the mobile workstation is connected to the network via a dial-up, broadband or LAN (including wireless) connection.

Once connected, the ECM assesses and corrects configuration settings by comparing the notebooks configuration and patch levels with standards predefined by the IT organization. Any configuration settings that are out of compliance can be automatically corrected, and any missing patches can be deployed remotely.

"We automatically discover those mobile machines; we can apply a license and collect the information we need," said Stephen Southey, product manager at Configuresoft in Woodland Park, Colo. The ECM server determines which collection or patch deployment is appropriate for the connection speed. The mobile agent and ECM server communicate using HTTP over Port 80.

Misconfigurations are responsible for 80 percent of PC downtime and 90 percent of security breaches, said Configuresoft CEO Alex Goldstein.

The new release also includes new templates that help users assess compliance with such government regulations as HIPAA, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and GLBA for banking. The templates allow users to enforce configurations that comply with security best practices as defined by the SANS Institute, Microsoft and NIST.

"We have templates with industry security standards, and we complement that with tools that give granular detail on who has access to the confidential areas you are trying to protect," Goldstein said. "We monitor who has access on a regular basis.

"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," Goldstein said.

"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.

The new version of ECM will be available Monday. The software starts at $995 per server and $30 per managed node.

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