One of the most frequently repeated pieces of advice on this site is – “Keep all applications (including your operating system) patched, and up to date”. Taking this simply step, reduces the likelihood that malware will become an issue a user will have to deal with – significantly.
Sounds like good, practical advice – and it is. But as those of us involved in computer security know; this is advice that is not always followed. Some hold the view (including me), that it is rarely followed.
One particular application that I have reviewed and recommended a number of times – that assists users in keeping a system fully patched is – Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) – which constantly monitors a system for insecure software installations, notifies the user when an insecure application is installed, and then provides the user with detailed instructions for updating the application, when available.
There’s less reason now, than ever, to disregard this critical advice. Today, Secunia launched version 3 (Beta) of its free Personal Software Inspector (PSI), with a host of new features. The new version makes patching software more comprehensive, automatic, and easier than ever. How simple is that? PSI 3 takes the burden out of updating and patching.
Extended automatic patching using the Secunia Package System (SPS), removing the dependency on vendors providing silent installers.
It automatically detects insecure programs – from all software vendors, not just those from Microsoft – that need updating.
The Secunia PSI then downloads the required security updates and installs them without any effort from the user, making it much easier to maintain a secure PC.
New and dramatically simplified user interface
Non-intrusive authenticated vulnerability and patch scanning
Auto-update of programs
Covers programs and plug-ins from thousands of vendors
Reports security status for each.
Wondering just how PSI does its job? Secunia explains:
The Secunia PSI works by examining files on a computer (primarily .exe, .dll, and .ocx files). These files contain non-specific meta information provided by the software vendor. This data is the same for all users and originates from the installed programs on your computer — never from their configuration.
After examining all the files on the local hard drive(s), the collected data is sent to Secunia’s servers, which match the data against the Secunia File Signatures engine. This information can then be used to provide a detailed report of the missing security related updates for the user’s system. The Secunia PSI automatically performs scans every seven days to ensure that the latest secure versions of the software is installed.
The Secunia PSI 3.0 (beta) can be downloaded from Secunia’s website now at Secunia.com/PSI.
Previous reviews of this must have application here include:
Not Running Secunia PSI? Why Not?
Secunia Personal Software Inspector – Insurance Against Vulnerabilities
How secure do you think you are? Run a quick scan of your computer with Secunia Online Software Inspector.
Founded in 2002, Secunia is the leading provider of IT security solutions that help businesses and private individuals globally manage and control vulnerability threats, risks across their networks, and end-points. This is enabled by Secunia’s award-winning Vulnerability Intelligence, Vulnerability Assessment, and Patch Management solutions that ensure optimal and cost-effective protection of critical information assets.
Secunia plays an important role in the IT security ecosystem, and is the preferred supplier for enterprises and government agencies worldwide, counting Fortune 500 and Global 2000 businesses among its customer base. Secunia has operations in North America, the UK, and the Middle East, and is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark.
7 responses to “Secunia PSI 3.0 (Beta) – Automatic, Comprehensive Patching Of Insecure Applications”
I’ve been a fan of Secunia PSI for a long time but the last couple of versions run on start up and I’ve had to set Secunia to manual start via task manager and services manager. I just prefer that it does not run in the background all the time. Also it reports that no updates are available when actually there are some updates available for programs that it doesn’t check. That’s not a criticism – it’s just that some users may believe that all software is patched and up to date after running a scan with Secunia PSI.
No, it’s not a criticism – far from it. Like you, I run a very tight ship and I’ve taken the same approach. I don’t want apps/services loading in the background unless I decide. I’m the boss. 🙂
Still, while it’s a good thing that you and I have the skill set to makes this type of adjustment, the vast majority of users do not. So, on balance – for their own protection – I can’t see a way around an auto start – other than scheduling. But then, we may be looking at another series of issues.
As for the “no updates are available” issue – have to agree with you. But again, on balance, PSI does a reasonably through job. Even so, a high level user is sure to be annoyed when an update is missed – so, I know where you’re coming from.
Good that you brought this up.
Like you, I prefer to be in control of what’s happening on my computer. For that reason, after trying Secunia PSI a cfew years ago, I gave it up in favour of FileHippo, which I run on demand. But, guess what, I can forget to run FileHippo for ages! Also, now you’ve made me think about it again, there are situations where running in the background is an absolute must. One of these is a virus checker. I’m guessing that even the most avid control freak (like me) lets that one do its job in the background.
This new Beta version sounds interesting, so I’m going to give it a whirl. After all, as you rightly point out, it is another weapon in the anti virus armoury’ so why not let it do its thing?
I’m all for any application that “keeps an eye out” – especially one which consumes few resources. Even so, it’s a bit of a hassle having to go into services and change from “auto” to “manual”, along with denying start up permissions.
But, to protect the less knowledgeable …..
Secunia is a great application, while I try to avoid adding anything to my startup I think this program is worth it.
No doubt about it – a terrific application that should be on everyone’s machine.
Auto start is not a hassle – except for control sensitive users. Or, control freaks like me. 🙂
Pingback: Outils, services, sites à (re)découvrir 2012 S09 | La Mare du Gof