Free tool scans PCs, identifies storage peripherals

SecureWave is releasing a free tool that scans enterprise laptop and desktop PCs to collect data on what storage peripherals are being plugged into them.

The data can be used in diagnosing how vulnerable enterprises might be to either data escaping through such devices as USB thumb drives, or to malware penetrating the net through MP3 players or similar gear connecting to corporate PCs.

The new software application, dubbed internally as DevSensor, runs on a network administrator's PC. It temporarily loads a small Microsoft .Net component on targeted Windows PCs. This agent checks the PC's Registry for the records that the operating system keeps on all devices that have been attached to the PC.

The scan can yield a hefty amount of information, including the device manufacturer's name, the device brand and model, the date it was attached and the related drivers. The agents send the data back to DevSensor, and the user interface gives a set of summary reports that can be broken down into various views of the storage devices linked to corporate PCs.

"This is just intended to help administrators understand the scope of the issue they face," says Dennis Szerszen, vice president of corporate strategy for SecureWave. The company's main product is Sanctuary, a program for setting, enforcing and auditing corporate policies on what kinds of storage devices can be used by PC clients.

The company released a new version of Sanctuary in September.

Other vendors in this space include Centennial Software, Safend and Senforce.

DevSensor is a modified version of a tool that SecureWave's own field engineers have used for about a year working with the company's value-added resellers (VAR) and their enterprise accounts.

Currently, DevSensor is being released this week free, but only to SecureWave's VAR partners, who will use it with their enterprise accounts and prospects. Locally it is distributed by Pixel IT, based in Melbourne.

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