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Viewfinity Privilege Management Locks Down Desktops And Laptops

Viewfinity has announced a new version of its Privilege Management security software. The software lets IT administrators "lock down" PCs and prevent users from having administrative privileges, but also gives users some ability to install a configured list of items on their personal computers and laptops. Version 3.5 adds features such as the ability for users to request additional privileges from IT administrators, reports on PCs that are not locked down, the ability to "record" user activity on a screen for later debugging, an audit log of administrator activity and integration of policy reports with Microsoft's Systems Center Configuration Manager software.

Martin Silverman, director of IT for Evensonbest, which sells Knoll office furniture systems in New York, says that he is particularly interested in the recording feature, which will help him troubleshoot problems with his 400 users. "We can see what's going on with users as they install this stuff," he says.

However, he says he is less interested in the feature that allows users to request additional privileges because such requests are usually not work-related and it duplicates a system the company has already implemented. "I don't want to put a sign in front of the client to say, 'Nudge us about this thing you want us to run and use,'" he says. "Ninety-nine percent of the time, it's something they want, not something they need," such as the ability to run Netflix movies on their laptops when they're in hotel rooms."

The software lets companies achieve a balance between the costs of giving everyone administrative rights--noting that 92 percent of critical vulnerabilities can be mitigated by removing those rights--and the loss of user productivity involved with locking down computers, says Leonid Shtilman, CEO of the Waltham, Mass., company. The new version also gives both users and administrators the ability to work from remote locations such as a Starbucks, he adds.

Findings from ESG's 2011 IT Spending Intentions research reveals that 36 percent of IT organizations stated that they will make a significant investment in desktop security over the next 12 to 18 months, second only to network security, says Ginny Roth, lab engineer/analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group. The latest version of Viewfinity provides a solution for managing privileges on the desktop with policies that can be created on the fly for applications, providing a cost-effective and auditable answer for organizations that want to provide applications on-demand securely to the desktop, she says.

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