Secunia Personal Software Inspector – Insurance Against Vulnerabilities

Secunia PSI – Checks for Software Vulnerabilities

image A recent article on IE 6 and the inherent dangers involved in running such an outdated Browser, supports the view that not all of us make use of Microsoft’s Windows Update so that we are current with operating system critical updates, and security fixes.

As important as that is, it’s equally as important that we keep our installed applications current, and up-to-date. Every week, I receive the Qualys Vulnerability Report, and I never fail to be astonished by the huge number of application vulnerabilities listed in this report. I’ve always felt, that the software industry should thank their “lucky stars”, that this report is not particularly well known outside the professional IT security community. It’s that scary.

Should we be worried? Well, I think we should be. In a recent survey, Secunia, the Danish computer security service provider, well known for tracking vulnerabilities in software and operating systems, concluded that less than one in 50 Windows driven computers, are totally patched. This is a perfect scenario for the redistribution of malware.

Secunia goes on to report that the rate of patching and updating compliance, is even less than in previous years. This, despite the fact, that on a daily basis critical vulnerabilities continue to be discovered in popular software applications.

Some recent application vulnerabilities included, Mozilla FireFox, Apple iTunes, QuickTime, Skype internet phone, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Sun Java Run-Time, Macromedia Flash, AOL Instant Messenger, Windows/MSN Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger, Bit Defender, and RealPlayer.

Survey statistics:

Survey sample size – 20,000 users

User exposure – 98.1% have one or more insecure programs

User exposure – 30.27% have one to five insecure programs

User exposure – 25.07% have six to ten insecure programs

User exposure – 45.76% have eleven or more insecure programs

It has been my experience, that when a malware infection occurs, it is generally safe to say, the user is often responsible for their own misfortune. This survey points out, once again; computer users need to be more vigilant in order to ensure their own Internet safety and security.

The Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) can help dramatically with this task. PSI constantly monitors your system for insecure software installations, notifies you when an insecure application is installed, and even provides you with detailed instructions for updating the application when available.

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ZD Net, one of my favorite web sites has stated “Secunia Personal Software Inspector, quite possibly the most useful and important free application you can have running on your Windows machine”. In my view, this is not an overstatement.

Installing this small free application will definitely assist you in identifying possible security leaks; give it a try.

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Quick facts:

The Secunia PSI is free for private use.

Downloaded over 800,000 times

Allows you to secure your PC – Patch your applications – Be proactive

Scans for Insecure and End-of-Life applications

Verifies that all Microsoft patches are applied

Tracks your patch-performance week by week

Direct and easy access to security patches.

Detects more than 300,000 unique application versions

Provides a detailed report of missing security related updates

Provides a tabbed report which indicates programs that are no longer supported – programs with all known patches – insecure programs, etc.

Provides a Toolbox offering a set of links which helps you assess a problem and how you can resolve it.

System Requirements: Windows 2000, XP 32/64bit, Vista 32/64bit, and Win 7

Download at: Download.com

Bonus: Do it in the Cloud – The Secunia Online Software Inspector, (OSI), is a fast way to scan your PC for the most common programs and vulnerabilities; checking if your PC has a minimum security baseline against known patched vulnerabilities.

Link: Secunia Online Software Inspector

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21 Comments

Filed under Application Vulnerabilities, Cloud Computing Applications, Computer Audit Applications, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Internet Safety Tools, Security Rating Applications, Software, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

21 responses to “Secunia Personal Software Inspector – Insurance Against Vulnerabilities

  1. Pingback: Secunia Personal Software Inspector – Insurance Against … Cosmetic body on me

  2. Mal

    Hi Bill,

    I remember you mentioned Secunia a while back, and I have been trying it out for a few months now. It is an excellent program, I found applications on my system I didn’t know were at risk. Thanks to Secunia, I was able to rectify this

    Cheers

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mal,

      Gad to hear you found it useful.

      I recently booted up an old machine I hadn’t been using, and I had Secunia do a scan. I was a little suprised at what it found and it definitely made the job of updating much easier.

      Bill

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  4. HarleyBBorn

    Hey Bill……..

    I think that Secunia is an excellent program. I have been using it for a couple of years or so. A very easy program to keep all software patched. One can never have enough security now days!

    THANKS! Again for all your valuable information that you take the time to share!!

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Todd,

      Good to hear from you. Have to agree with you – Secunia IS an excellent program. The security aspect is the important feature (as you point out), and the amount of work it saves me, well….

      BTW, I have recently downloaded Shadow Defender for testing – I’ll let you know shortly, how that worked out. Thanks again, for the suggestion.

      Bill

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  8. Liam O' Moulain

    Bill

    Brilliant program. Wouldn’t be without it.

    Cheers

  9. Pingback: Secunia Personal Software Inspector – Insurance Against … Survey Me

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  11. Another good recommendation, Bill. I support a couple of senior citizens remotely, and one thing I installed on their PC’s is Secunia PSI. In conjunction with FileHippo Update Checker I can then ensure that their computers are up to date and secure.
    Regards,
    Dave K

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Dave,

      I’m sure the senior citizens, whom you support remotely, are highly appreciative of your kindness. Installing Secunia PSI on their machines, is indicative of your professionalism. Good one!

      Bill

  12. Hi Bill,

    Thanks for sharing this handy security tool. I think I should share it with my community. Will test it and then will try to review it in my blog soon.

    Arafat

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Arafat,

      This is an important tool, and your community will benefit when you review it on your site. I look forward to your review.

      Bill

  13. Kai

    Thanks for sharing this!

  14. Great article! i like the idea of folks helping the Senior Citizens, i’m hoping there are more blogs, newsletters, ezines, websites, and reports out there.