We’re very happy to announce GFI LanGuard 2014 has been launched today! In this Q&A interview, Cristian Florian, Product Manager for GFI LanGuard, talks about what’s new in this release.

Q: How is GFI LanGuard adapting to the changes that happen so fast in the IT infrastructure landscape nowadays?

Cristian Florian

Cristian Florian, Product Manager for GFI LanGuard

IT environments now include so many different devices, operating systems and applications that network administrators may not even be aware of all of them. The rise in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in business environments has added to the burden system administrators have to carry every day, in turn forcing them to stay on top of their network environment, strengthen security, while also monitoring an ever-changing network infrastructure.

So we built GFI LanGuard 2014 with this in mind. We had to extend its capability in this new environment because the whole IT infrastructure needs to be managed, no matter if we are talking about Windows®, Mac OS® or Linux® systems, physical or virtual machines, servers, desktops, laptops, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, or network devices such as routers, switches and printers.

Q: What is new in GFI LanGuard 2014?

One of the major things we added in GFI LanGuard 2014 is vulnerability assessment for smartphones and tablets. According to a survey conducted by Cisco, 90 percent of American employees use their personal smartphone for work purposes. While this is an opportunity for businesses, it also adds risk, as these devices may have access to sensitive company information and there is little, if any, visibility into how security is managed for them.

GFI LanGuard now allows network administrators to see when and what devices connect to the Microsoft Exchange servers and it checks these devices for security vulnerabilities. Android®, iOS® and Windows Phone® are supported. Additionally GFI LanGuard will report when new mobile operating systems updates are available and makes it very easy for network administrators to send email notifications to device owners alerting them that these updates are available.

Q: How does vulnerability assessment for mobile devices work? Do network administrators need to install anything on the smartphones?

No. Auditing of smartphones and tablets using GFI LanGuard is very easy. Mobile devices that connect to the company’s Microsoft Exchange servers are detected using agent-less scans. There is nothing to install on smartphones, tablets or the Microsoft Exchange server.

The only thing that needs to be set is the Microsoft Exchange server name and credentials that have access to it.

Q: Are there any enhancements on the patch management side?

Yes. We are continuously improving our patch management capabilities. GFI LanGuard 2014 comes with patch management support for major Linux distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, Suse, OpenSuse, CentOS and Debian.

According to a recent survey from Freeform Dynamics Ltd on 977 IT and business professionals representing a range of organization sizes and industries, 62.6% of them have at least one Linux system in their organization.

Now customers can use GFI LanGuard as a central console to patch Windows, Mac OS and Linux operating systems and applications. And, speaking of applications, it is now easier than ever for IT administrators to keep their systems fully patched, as we added a host of third-party applications to our “supported list”.

Q: What new third party applications are supported?

We added support for more than 20 new applications, bringing the total to over 50 third-party applications (besides Microsoft applications). We are practically covering all the most important ones in terms of popularity and security relevance.

Among the new applications we support are Pidgin (instant messaging), CDBurnerXP, ImgBurn and CCleaner (utilities), VLC and Audacity (media), LibreOffice (documents), Paint.NET and  IrfanView (imaging), Adobe Illustrator, Adobe PhotoShop and Adobe InDesign (Adobe Creative Suite), WinSCP and Core FTP (FTP clients), Python and Notepad++ (developer tools). The complete list is available here.

We will continue to add support for new applications at a high rate. Customers can request support for additional applications by sending an email to this address.

Q: Anything else worth mentioning?

Yes, we have some other good news for our customers. We have a special offer for anyone who purchases or upgrades their GFI LanGuard version to 2014. They will automatically receive 25% extra nodes for free to use exclusively on mobile devices auditing.

So check out the new GFI LanGuard version. We are proud of what we have accomplished and we believe that our users will enjoy it too.