Catbird Puts Security in Your Pocket

Catbird Networks' pint-sized version of its Catbird V-Agent appliance turns any PC into a virtual security agent.

The motto of Catbird Networks—dont run naked—may need to be changed to "never leave home without protection."

With the Pocket V-Agent, slated to be released Sept. 26, Catbird has taken its virtual network security assessments technology and placed it in a portable, pocket-sized unit. Pocket V-Agent allows security consultants, auditors and managed security providers to do virtual network security assessments by plugging Pocket V-Agent into any PC, which upon installation and booting, becomes an agent capable of network monitoring for assessments, inspection and data protection, company officials said.

"The pocket v-agent…[allows] anybody walking around with a USB stick to plug into a standard PC and instantly turn that PC into a full-blown, fully-comprehensive security agent capable of doing full security in a physical network of course, or a virtual network," said Tamar Newberger, vice president of marketing at Catbird.

The pint-sized device is a miniature version of the Catbird V-Agent virtual appliance launched by the Scotts Valley, Calif., company in June. The V-Agent offers virtual networks a shield against hackers with rogue virtual-device monitoring, and IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) and IDS (Intrusion Detection System) capabilities.

It includes security compliance and vulnerability monitoring to servers running multiple virtual machines based on VMware. The V-Agent also monitors virtual segments within a host as well as physical network segments connected to the host, company official said.

"You can plug [the Pocket V-Agent] into your network, and you immediately get all of our passive capabilities, the rogue device detection and the IPS capability," said Catbird Chief Technology Officer Michael Berm. "If you go to our portal, you can turn on the quarantine; you can turn on the IPS capabilities and you can turn on vulnerability scanning and policy compliance and validation. You get all of that functionality on the pocket device."

For security and IT administrators, Pocket V-Agent reduces the amount of time spent on security issues by providing a "snapshot" of real-time vulnerability data, illustrating how incidents resulting in downtime, lost productivity, data theft, identity theft and other security breaches can be reduced, Catbird officials said.


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"If you want to do a security audit, you dont need to lug around a set of appliances, or a whole bunch of software loaded on your laptop or a laptop youve dedicated for this purpose," Berm said. "You just need this USB stick. Plug it into any convenient system on the network and now you can perform your compliance audit."

Pocket V-Agent is licensed with a combination of one-time purchase and service fees, and only requires an active account with Catbird or a Catbird partner, and the appropriate monitors for use.

"Its free, and what you have to pay for is the service," said Newberger, touting Catbirds in-the-cloud architecture.

Founded in 2000, Catbird provides a fully-hosted managed security platform, and delivers Web security and network access control using a security as a service model—something it plans to continue with this release.

"The example in the marketplace is," Berm said. "Were following that same model."

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