Friday, January 8, 2010

Living with Secunia

My last posting was about Secunia's online scanner. I've downloaded and used their personal software inspector. I have to say that I like it. It does not grab too much of the CPU yet it monitors the system quite effectively. Many applications these days automatically update. Secunia picks up on that and lets you know. This is useful so that you don't run home to put in a critical update when it has already been done.

There are a few things that can be annoying. The main one I have is that it keeps reporting a problem with a fairly unusual application -- in my case, a video camera monitor -- and offers a link to a fix. The fix is the same version as the problem. The video camera people probably will never update their application and given that their system running on my computer does not connect to the Internet, I'm not too worried. The solution I had to use is to "ignore" the application. I would rather not do that in the case there is actually a newer version at a later point.

Yet, given that most vulnerabilities are in the applications and not so much the OS, this tool is a must have. While most programs are getting better at auto-updating themselves, there are many applications out there that don't.

In the school environment, this system is also useful to discovering applications you might not have installed. When you seen an update pending for an application you didn't install or forgot to remove, this provides you a chance to take action. I like the fact that this scanner will tell you exactly where the offending application resides. Most updates don't do that.

I'm going to keep using this product!



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