Vista Launch: New OS an opportunity for niche security firms

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While most major security vendors worked out the kinks in their Windows Vista-compatible offerings this week, some niche vendors were taking advantage of the corporate launch to unveil new security solutions.

Lieberman Software Corporation announced a solution for an issue with the new User Access Control (UAC) in Vista. Microsoft designed UAC to finally turn off administrative privileges by default, a setting which it hopes will prevent worms from running rampant through its systems.

"Vista UAC adds an additional level of security to the next generation operating system," said Phil Lieberman, president of Lieberman Software. "But if a user wants to do certain privileged things and the organisation that issued a machine doesn't want them to be an administrator, then they may be limited in terms of what they can do. The problem is that it is a requirement from time to time where users may need to add things. Since they don't have an administrator account then their only choice may be to call the helpdesk—which may be impractical."

Lieberman Software's Random Password Manager Enterprise Addition aims to help enable these users' needs without compromising the security of UAC. The system randomises username and passwords for each machine and allows non-privileged users to gain temporary access through a web portal for essential jobs. When users enter through the portal, their activities are tracked to ensure that they don't abuse the system.

"At that point they can do what they need to do, and the company knows that after a fixed period of time those set of credentials will no longer work," Lieberman said. "They get audits of who requested it - when, where, how. And then they get positive acknowledgement that the password has changed. This allows them to deploy Vista without having to worry about UAC being a serious issue."

Another niche vendor making an announcement this week was Workshare, which unveiled support for Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office across its entire product line. Workshare Protect and Workshare Professional are designed to help enterprise with content compliance and protection against insider threats.

By integrating with both Vista and the new version of Office, these Workshare products are designed to prevent information loss and to discover compliance risks as employees work on content.

"With the majority of content compliance violations coming from knowledge workers, Workshare solutions can reduce this risk without negatively impacting the overall user experience in Microsoft Office applications," said Joe Fantuzzi, president and CEO of Workshare. "In addition, we are able to exploit the new capabilities of the platform to do this faster and better, while allowing our customers and partners standard and straightforward ways to extend our solution."

Click here to email Ericka Chickowski.

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