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GFI Languard Network Security Scanner V9 Review

Posted in Hot Product Reviews

Review by Alan Drury and John Watters

Overall Score: 95%

Introduction

With Version 9, GFI's Network Security Scanner has finally come of age. GFI has focussed the product on its core benefit – maintaining the security of the Windows enterprise – and the result is a powerful application that offers real benefits for the time-pressed network administrator.

Keeping abreast of the latest Microsoft patches and Service Packs, regular vulnerability scanning, corrective actions, software audit and enforcement in a challenging environment can really soak up your time. Not any more though – install Network Security Scanner and you can sit back while all this and more happens automatically across your entire estate.

The user interface for Version 9 is excellent; so intuitive in fact that we didn't touch the documentation at all yet managed all of the product's features. Each screen leads you to the next so effectively that you barely need to think about what you are doing and using the product quickly becomes second nature.

Version 8 was good, but with Version 9 GFI has done it again.

Colasoft Capsa v7.2.1 Network Analyser Review

Posted in Hot Product Reviews

Overall Score: 90%

A Network Analyser is without doubt an Engineer's best friend.

Using network analysing software, we are able to monitor our network and dig into the various protocols to see what's happening in real time. This can help us understand much better the theoretical knowledge we've obtained throughout the years but, most importantly, help us identify, troubleshoot and fix network issues that we wouldn't be able to do otherwise.

A quick search on the Internet will surely reveal many network analysers available making it very confusing to select one. Some network analysers provide basic functions, such as packet sniffing, making them ideal for simple tasks while others give you all the necessary tools and functions to ensure your job is done the best possible way.

Colasoft's network analyser is a product that falls in the second category. We had the chance to test drive the Colasoft Network Analyser v7.2.1 which is the latest available version at the time of writing.

Having used previous versions of Colasoft's network analyser, this latest version we tested left us impressed and does, in fact, promise a lot no matter what the environment demands.

GFI Languard Network Security Scanner V8

Posted in Hot Product Reviews

Review by Alan Drury and John Watters

Overall Score: 97%

Introduction

Can something really good get better? That was the question that faced us when we were assigned to review GFI's Languard Network Security Scanner, Version 8 , already well loved (and glowingly reviewed) at Version 5.

All vulnerability scanners for Windows environments fulfil the same basic function, but as the old saying goes “It's not what you do; it's the way that you do it”. GFI have kept all the good points from their previous releases and built on them; and the result is a tool that does everything you would want with an excellent user interface that is both task efficient and a real pleasure to use.


Installation

Visit GFI's website (www.gfi.com) and you can download a fully-functional version that you can try before you buy; for ten days if you prefer to remain anonymous or for thirty days if you swap your details for an evaluation code. The download is 32Mb expanding to 125Mb on your disk when installed.

Installation is straightforward. All the software needs is an account to run under, details of its back-end database and a location to reside. MS Access, MSDE or MS SQL Server databases are supported and you can even migrate your data from one to another if needs be. And as is usual for GFI you can download a fully-functional 30-day evaluation straight from their website so you can be up and running in minutes.

First of all, if you have a license key you can enter it during installation to save time later – just a little thing, but it shows this software has been designed in a very logical manner.

You're then asked for an account to run the Attendant service, the first of the Version 8 enhancements. This, as its name suggests, is a Windows service that sits in your system tray and allows you easy access to the program and its documentation plus a handy window that lets you see everything the scanner is doing as it works away in the background.

Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner

Posted in Hot Product Reviews

Review by Sahir Hidayatullah.

Overall Score: 90%

Introduction

The biggest problem with testing web applications is scalability. With the addition of even a single form or page to test, you invariably increase the number of repetitive tasks you have to perform and the number of relationships you have to analyze to figure out whether you can identify a security issue.

As such, performing a security assessment without automation is an exercise in stupidity. One can use the lofty argument of the individual skill of the tester, and this is not to be discounted – I’ll come back to it – but, essentially, you can automate at least 80% of the task of assessing website security. This is part of the reason that security testing is becoming highly commoditized, the more you have to scan, the more repetitive tasks you have to perform. It is virtually impossible for a tester to manually analyze each and every single variable that needs to be tested. Even if it were so, to perform this iterative assessment manually would be foolishly time-consuming.

GFI LANguard Network Security Scanner Version 5.0 Review

Posted in Hot Product Reviews

Review by Chris Partsenidis and Sahir Hidayatullah.

Overall Score: 95%

Introduction

In the light of all the recent attacks that tend to focus on the vulnerabilities of Windows platforms, we were increasingly dissatisfied with the common vulnerability scanners that we usually employ. We wanted a tool that didn't just help find holes, but would help administer the systems, deploy patches, view account / password policies etc. In short, we were looking for a Windows specialist tool.

Sure, there's a number of very popular (and very expensive) commercial scanners out there. However, most of them are prohibitively priced for the networks we administrate and all of them fell short on the administrative front. We tested a previous version of LANguard and our initial impressions were good. Thus we decided to give their latest offering a spin.

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