As part of its transformation from anti-virus vendor to overall security provider, Network Associates Inc. last week introduced the latest version of its McAfee Desktop Firewall, which brings some intrusion prevention capabilities to the desktop.
The key features in the new release are an application monitoring capability and a mode that enables administrators to prevent PCs that have out-of-date security policies from connecting to the network. The new version also includes the ability to centrally control all of an enterprises implementations of the firewall via McAfees ePolicy Orchestrator tool.
The application monitoring feature in McAfee Desktop Firewall 8.0 gives administrators the ability to enforce a common desktop operating environment across the enterprise by preventing users from installing and running rogue applications.
Working in conjunction with the application-level firewall, the system can control which ports and protocols applications are allowed to use.
This capability can help stop malware programs, such as Trojan horses, worms and spyware, from connecting to the Internet and causing damage to infected machines.
“A real problem for enterprises is maintaining control over desktops and laptops. When these devices contain unauthorized applications, altered security tools or drift out of compliance with the corporate security policies, they create avenues of vulnerability and network instability when these clients connect to corporate networks,” said analyst Charles Kolodgy of International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass.
The quarantine mode in McAfee Desktop Firewall 8.0 can use ePolicy Orchestrator to perform a brief audit of a PC before it connects to the network. If a problem, such as old anti-virus signatures, is found, the application can restrict the machines network access until the issue is rectified.
McAfee Desktop Firewall 8.0 is available now.