Qualys has introduced a free end-user focused testing service for browser applications.

Qualys BrowserCheck is designed to help consumers and corporate users fix security issues in their browsers by scanning them to look for security flaws within the browser and its plug-ins.

Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek told SC Magazine that it was an extension for numerous browsers including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Windows that ensures the security of the browser and its plug-ins.

He said: “Protection for plug-ins is underserved and this will tell you what updates are available for software. It is consumer targeted, as we believe that the browser is the weakest link and plug-ins have a level of visibility. We put a check in for XP2 service pack as a commitment to older technology. It sits in the browser, the scan is manual and it will tell you what needs to be updated.”

It is able to detect and update plug-ins such as Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader 5.x and above, Adobe Shockwave Player, Apple Quick Time, Microsoft Silverlight, Microsoft Windows Media Player and Real Player. It can also detect an out-of-date browser and recommend an upgrade.

Philippe Courtot, chairman and CEO of Qualys, said: “Almost 100 per cent of all browsers we have surveyed have plug-ins installed that enable the user to play music, watch video, visualise PDF files and play games.

“Frequently these plug-ins are overlooked by the users and are not updated, representing a significant security exposure – both for end-users and corporate clients. BrowserCheck is an easy and straightforward way to take care of the flaws and to assure the user of a smooth and secure browsing experience.”