Surveillance software keeps track of rogue MP3s

FutureSoft's new version of i:scan is aimed at helping enterprises keep a lid on unauthorised P2P use on their networks

FutureSoft, an enterprise content security company, has updated its DynaComm i:scan file surveillance product to allow real-time monitoring of Windows-based servers and workstations. The software is designed to search for the presence of unwanted applications, such as P2P clients, IM software or hacking tools, and allows administrators to log, block or remove the offending files.

According to FutureSoft, DynaComm i:scan 3.0 can also be used for protecting internal information by either preventing sensitive files from being accessed by unauthorised users, or keeping a record of when and by whom the file was accessed.

Andy Wooles, managing director of FutureSoft UK, said: "It is like putting a burglar alarm on certain files. If people try and look at them, it is possible to log the attempt or even lock the file."

Wooles explained that DynaComm creates a unique signature for sensitive files, which enables those files to be tracked. "Even if someone renames an executable file as readme.txt, you would still be able to find it," Wooles said.

I:scan works on two levels. Initially, it executes an antivirus-type scan to identify rogue applications, inappropriate content or copyright material. Secondly, the system monitors the network in real time and alerts the administrator if unwanted files are introduced, or "marked" files are accessed.

Companies are increasingly worried about the legal implications of having MP3 files stored on their servers and employees accessing P2P networks, which have the potential to introduce illegal material into the corporate environment.

"If you roll out a corporate IM system, you don't want people running their AOL client," added Wooles.

Rick Mansel, chief executive of FutureSoft, said in a statement: "Instead of watching for protocol-based activity, DynaComm i:scan can target the offending applications or the copyrighted materials itself. Security moves beyond just the perimeter defences and really enters the corporate network itself, where the critical assets actually reside."

DynaComm i:scan will only work on Windows-based workstations and servers. Wooles said, however, that the company is also looking into a Linux-based product. "It is a logical way forward. There are possibilities and (Linux) is one thing that needs investigation, but there is no commitment to it at the moment," he said.

Pricing is based on the number of servers and workstations that are being monitored. A typical installation of 100 workstations will cost £1,800.


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