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GFI Endpoint Security 3.0 Review

May 1st, 2007

Businesses, from small to large, make a decent investment in firewalls, anti-viruses, email and web content security filters to protect their networks against external threats. Yet, any user with a USB device poses a tremendous threat to your data, no matter how well external security is.

Portable devices are nowadays so commonly used that they must be considered a direct threat against data security in most corporate environments. Any user can take confidential data or they can unintentionally infect the network with viruses, Trojan horses and illegal software – actions that can affect your network and company severely.

In this review, we will take a look at GFI Endpoint Security that makes it possible to control network access of portable storage devices in modern corporate environments.

GFI Endpoint Security is installed and managed from a central location. It consists of a main server and agents (clients) that are installed on workstations in the network.

The server side offers administrators a central place to configure security policies and distribute them to the clients. On the client-side, the GFI Endpoint Security software agent must be installed. It handles and enforces the policies provided by the server.

After installation has completed, the setup wizard will guide you through the steps necessary to finish setup: deploying agents and configuration of protection policies.

Installing an agent from the main server is trivial and easy to perform. The GFI Endpoint Security management console allows you to search the network and discover computers that have no agent deployed. You can also find out when was the last time the agent was updated with new security policies.

GFI Endpoint Security 3.0

The most important step of the configuration process is setting up the protection policies. By default, GFI provides us with three available ‘out-of-the-box’ protection policies: Servers, Workstations and Laptops. The default protection levels will fit small networks, but for larger networks the best practice would be to configure customize protection policies and rename them to more descriptive names for better management.

The whole management process is accomplished through the easy-to-use administrator console. It displays deployment status – quick overview of configured agents – protection policies – all configuration policies and general information about logging options and access control.

As an add-on to GFI Endpoint Security, a report pack can be purchased. It is a full-fledged reporting add-on that allows administrators to generate nicely formatted reports which summarize device usage, active users and other technical reports.

GFI Endpoint Security 3.0 can run on all the 32-bit versions of Microsoft Windows 2000 – 2003. Support for Vista is expected within the next release.

Bottom like is that GFI Endpoint Security 3.0 offers many features to take control of data flow from storage devices in complex network environments. It proved to be fast, stable and easy to deploy – not to mention very efficient.

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