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Centennial’s Security.Advisor network security scout

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Centennial Software has launched an innovative network security scout, to help IT professionals identify the software and firmware vulnerabilities hidden across the entire network. 

Working with the latest version of Centennial’s Discovery asset management solution, Security.Advisor searches the network for vulnerabilities in software and hardware, pinpoints exactly where the security hotspots lie, and directs users to the right patches and remedial actions to solve the problem. On an IT network using Security.Advisor, an agent is present on each and every PC, ensuring complete security protection.

The launch of Security.Advisor and its ability to provide automatic network-wide recognition of threat coincides with new research from Centennial, which reveals that 70 per cent of IT managers have not taken any action to ascertain exactly what assets are on the corporate network.

The research was carried out at a UK event hosted by Centennial for IT professionals in the logistics, healthcare, retail and finance sectors. It also revealed that just 20 per cent of those questioned have carried out any kind of software audit to establish what is on their network and reach software asset management (SAM) compliance targets.

According to Centennial, even a small IT network can potentially harbour thousands of vulnerabilities, but this research proves that most IT managers probably do not even know it. One network of less than 25 computers that they scanned with Security.Advisor contained over 250 separate vulnerabilities.

In order to work out where the vulnerabilities lie, it is vital that any IT manager must first have an accurate, up to date understanding of what’s on the network. Traditional tools do not carry out a thorough audit before examining the problem, and as a result only tell half the story.

Security.Advisor works with Centennial’s Discovery tool to audit every aspect of the IT network and identify security hotspots. The audit covers software from a side range of vendors, and hardware including Cisco switches and routers. It also alerts administrators to 14 categories of greynet software installed without permission, for example password cracking tools, games and peer-to-peer file sharing software.

By comparing the information it finds against a comprehensive database of threats, Security.Advisor pinpoints risks down to individual PCs and devices. Security.Advisor also performs a sanity check scan for users after patches have been installed, to check all vulnerabilities have been dealt with.

Relying on traditional patch management tools can give IT managers a false sense of security. By using Discovery’s existing software and hardware recognition technology, and combining this with a comprehensive database of known security risks, one can get a far more accurate view of the vulnerabilities actually on the network, even after patches have been supposedly deployed.

Available as an add-on component to Centennial Discovery 2006 Feature Pack 1 - also launched, Security.Advisor allows administrators to customise the vulnerability management for their organisation. Combined with the latest version of Centennial’s Discovery.Visual network mapping add-on, Security.Advisor also produces colour-coded maps of the network, highlighting the areas of highest risk.

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