Security Center Lite
Strengths: Simplicity, intuitive interface, 30 day trial available
Weaknesses: Rather basic
Verdict: A useful introduction to vulnerability scanning and intrusion detection for the smaller enterprise
There are many approaches to vulnerability scanning and intrusion detection, depending upon the scale of your enterprise and the lengths to which you wish to go. Security Center Lite offers a relatively low-cost introduction to such tasks for infrastructures with up to 100 network nodes. For larger organisations, Security Center Pro can support an unlimited number of network nodes.
Security Center Lite is software- based and needs no remote agents. It is thus simple to deploy and configure within typical Microsoft-based infrastructures, requiring Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, with Internet Explorer 6 or above. If this is the sort of environment you have, this product will provide basic vulnerability scanning and intrusion detection for your network. It should be appreciated that Security Center Lite comes at a fraction of the cost of many more sophisticated products in this space and therefore should not be expected to offer equivalent functionality. However, it also does not require the same amount of administration and support of some of these more heavyweight offerings.
The question is, can it really be expected to offer useful functionality at this cost and within its platform and capacity limitations? The answer must be a resounding yes, especially if you have nothing in place at present. Typically, smaller infrastructures will feature network devices from the popular ranges of proven suppliers, together with contemporary PC clients and current operating systems.
How well such an infrastructure might be configured, both from an individual device configuration and patch management perspective, may vary and not necessarily be well understood in its entirety. This is precisely the sort of scenario wherein a product such as Security Center Lite can prove to be valuable. It is very easy to deploy and will reveal aspects of your network that were not previously visible to you.
Furthermore, it will enable you to quickly become proficient at spotting potential vulnerabilities and blocking offending nodes accordingly. On top of that, it can provide a degree of automated rules-based protection. And, if you're still not convinced, Lan-Secure offers a 30-day trial for the Security Center Lite.