Monthly Archives: February 2011


Dell KACE Appliance + Remote Services = Having your Cake and Eating it Too

Girl eating a big chocolate cakeAnyone who has ever told you that you can’t have your cake and eat it too obviously doesn’t own a Dell KACE Appliance.

If you own a Dell KACE appliance then you know, the sky parted, rays of sunshine came shining down upon your face, birds began to sing, and your little heart went pitter-patter as you quickly and easily unleashed the awe inspiring power of the KACE Appliance. For all of you IT admins who don’t own a KACE Appliance, you’re either a bit of a masochist, were very bad in your past life and have been reincarnated into a life of IT hell, or you haven’t been exposed to the glory of the KACE Appliance; in any case, I bet your IT job is a bit rough right now.

Well, what if we told you that we’ve one-upped the awesomeness of the KACE Appliance and have made it even easier? You’d probably tell us that it’s an IT urban legend. Well, get ready, because we’re myth busting.

Dell KACE now offers our appliance-based products with new remote configuration capabilities from Dell Services*, because let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t have the time and bandwidth to do it all yourself.

With Dell’s professional services for KACE, experts can now handle remote configuration tasks related to asset management, patch management, service desk and software distribution for you, resulting in faster service and also lower costs through the elimination of travel and time associated with on-site support.

In addition to system configuration, Dell’s new services help IT admins create custom reports. For example, you can work with Dell experts to create custom reports for the K2000 Appliance to accelerate planning for a Windows 7 migration. Or for the K1000 Appliance, Dell experts can create a custom report that shows the latest status of software updates and patch management tasks. And as always, the new Dell KACE services have been engineered to be monitored and viewed via smart phones. Find out more about Dell KACE professional services.

Dell KACE Professional Services Diagram* Currently available for North American Customers only at this time.

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Improve Browser Security – Without Being Seen as Mommy Dearest

Cartoon image of wife sitting at a computer with her husbandAll of your end users are good little boys and girls and are very careful about not using their work machines to browse websites or download applications that are malicious. If you believe that you can trust your end users to make the right security decisions, then I’ve got a secret for you: unicorns are real, they eat butterflies and poop rainbows. Pretty cool, huh?

The reality is you’ve got to protect your end users from themselves. It’s not that they’re dumb or intentionally downloading malicious applications (or at least the majority aren’t); they’re just not experts in security and don’t always do the right thing. They often assume that IT has enough security measures in place to prevent web threats.   

The hard part is it’s a bit of a Catch-22. In order to prevent network security breaches, IT admins often need to lockdown browsing activity; but, the minute IT begins locking down the Internet, they turn into Mommy Dearest. And then the griping begins. End users begin complaining about how they can’t get anything done, and then start ranting about how some recent study, from some obscure college, in the middle of nowhere, proved that being able to Google the latest gossip about Charlie Sheen actually boosts work productivity.

So how do you give end users the ability to freely roam the Internet and still protect their computers? Simple, use a Secure Browser tool. A Secure Browser tool is a great security tool that allows IT administrators to prevent malicious activity without impeding productivity. By providing a virtual instance of an Internet browser that is fully contained from the system, the Secure Browser stops malicious attacks by containing them within its virtual space that runs fully contained from areas normally written to during browser activity. A simple reset option is provided to undo any and all changes made during browser sessions.

Dell KACE has developed a Secure Browser tool for Firefox that runs in its own virtual space, and is available to download for free. The Secure Browser provides an isolated instance of Firefox to secure what has become a common entry point for malware and viruses—Internet browsing.

This FREE Secure Browser tool features:

  • A virtualized and contained Firefox v3.6 Browser with Adobe Reader and Flash plug-ins
  • The ability to rapidly reset any changes made during normal use back to their initial state, enabling easy recovery from infections or attacks
  • Controls to set white and black lists to limit access to known good sites, or prevent access to known bad sites to limit the risk of attack and infection
  • Controls to set white and black lists to limit which programs can be launched by the Secure Browser to further limit the risk of attack and infection
  • A way for administrators to view statistics related to the number of processes detected and blocked
  • the ability to preserve certain settings during the reset process, specifically to retain bookmark and home page changes

Watch the Secure Browser video demo and the new features video demo.

Download the Free Secure Browser tool

Screen shot image of Dell KACE's Secure Browser for Firefox

Cartoon Image Source: Geek and Poke
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We Need Superhuman Code Ninjas!

Cartoon ninjaAre you a code ninja? Can you karate chop PHP code, roundhouse kick JavaScript, make mincemeat out of Linux, and shoot green lasers out of your eyes……..OK maybe that’s going a little far; you don’t need to shoot green lasers out of your eyes, but that would be cool. 

We are looking for superhuman coding ninjas to join our Bay Area team. Prove your coding ninjaness (I know, it’s not a real word but work with me here) by accepting our coding mission.  

Pass the challenge, young grasshopper, and you will then be told next steps in proving your superhuman ninja coding skills; only the best will be chosen.


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Botnets, Tojans and Viruses Oh My!

Mannequin surronded by security camerasCrime rings in Europe, Russian trojans, cyber espionage, Advanced Persistent Threats – sound like the plot to the Salt sequel? Sadly, there is no Angelia Jolie in this story, just some scary, sophisticated and very real threats.

Large-scale security attacks are reaching across all industries and are leaving organizations of all sizes, including US government agencies, scrambling to counter them.

The responsibility of protecting networks rests squarely on the shoulders of IT administrators, but how can they protect their organizations’ networks when their end users are ripping movies off torrent sites, and searching for information about Prince William’s marriage, all while downloading the latest web app that will let them access all of their social networks in one place?

The best way to improve endpoint security is by taking a systematic layered approach: establish policies, enforce configurations, scan for vulnerabilities, remediate vulnerabilities, and then manage the whole process.

Traditional defenses such as antiviruses and firewalls are no longer as effective as they once were. Organizations need to consider new approaches to endpoint security. New technologies that are considered more effective include: vulnerability assessments, secure browsing and security management platforms.

The Dell KACE Systems Management Appliance has eased endpoint security by integrating several new security technologies for addressing vulnerabilities with integrated endpoint security support, including an updated Secure Browser for Firefox and SCAP scanning. Dell KACE is  one of the only vendors to offer easy-to-use, Secure Browser tools, integrated SCAP scanning for FDCC compliance, and pre-packaged compliance reports that deliver the most comprehensive, integrated, security solution to enterprises of all sizes.

New, extended support of Secure Browser technology for Firefox; will be available free on on February 10. The updated Secure Browser for Firefox will have some additional improvements; users can optionally preserve settings such as bookmarks and favorites when resetting the Secure Browser. K1000 users will now also benefit from a feature that allows customization of the Secure Browser which easily allows administrators to install add-ins or implement other changes and then generate Windows Installer setup based on those changes. Previously, the Secure Browser included only Adobe Flash and Reader, but soon administrators may create their own corporate baselines for deployment within their organization.

Also available on February 10, the K1000 will include a Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) Scanner that enables companies of all sizes to audit their systems to ensure compliance with company security policies. SCAP is a configuration scanner developed by the National Institute of Standards (NIST) that automatically scans endpoint systems and produces a report that identifies configuration information that can be compared to a standard to determine if a system is in compliance.  This technology applies equally to enterprises and governments that want to bring consistency and added protection to their computing environments.

These new features allow organizations to easily take advantage of endpoint security best practices established by government organizations. Organizations requiring SCAP scanning and reporting capabilities for purposes of FDCC compliance are not longer required to install expensive, complicated software. They can now get the benefits of SCAP scanning as part of the easy-to-use K1000 Systems Management appliance at no additional charge.

If you would like to learn more about the new Secure Browser tool and SCAP features of the K1000, check out our recorded webinar.

Got questions? Ask in the comments section below, or by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

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