Shavlik Technologies announced the release of its new HFNetChkPro 4.0. The new version has improved drag-and-drop patch management features that allow better set-up scans. The new version lets users view the scan status throughout the patch-management process. The product compares patches to threat-management databases from Microsoft and TruSecure to weight each patch so that users know the severity of problems that the patch fixes.
HFNetChkPro can also automatically push out patches to systems that need them. The product is highly scalable and integrates into Microsoft SQL Server databases. If a computer is offline when HFNetChkPro performs a scan, the tool can automatically patch that machine when the machine comes back online. A knowledge-management feature lets you make annotations to patches and machines that you can share with colleagues.
Included in the new version is a mechanism that lets HFNetChkPro automatically update itself by checking for version updates over the Internet. The new version supports all the primary Microsoft products, including the new Tablet PC OS, and Shavlik intends to begin introducing patch management for other products, such as Apache Web server and Lotus Domino, within the next year. Shavlik said that within the first few weeks after the initial release of HFNetChkPro 4.0, the company will release a service update to the product that will introduce a new patch-rollback feature.
In January 2003, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates echoed what security consultants have said for years. He reminded users that people can do three things to keep their systems secure: stay current with patches, use up-to-date antivirus software, and use firewalls.
Andrew Nielson of Raytheon Technical Services made the following statement about HFNetChkPro: "Patching tasks that would take two systems administrators the better part of a day are now accomplished in 30 minutes."
Shavlik also offers a free lite version of HFNetChkPro that works for up to 50 computers. Users who need support for more than 50 computers need to buy the Pro version; pricing starts at $899. More information about HFNetChkPro 4.0 is available on the company's Web site .