Advanced Force’s DeviceLock
Longtime readers of Education Update’s Technology and Education section undoubtedly are aware of the almost 1.1 Billion dollars the New York City school system has spent on technology and technology education. Thousands of laptop computers have been donated to both students and teachers, and, thanks to an extended initiative on the part of the Department of Education, virtually all of the schools in the New York City area are equipped with Internet platforms for community-wide interactivity.
One thing that has remained a limited (and non-renewable) resource is IT support. Due to limited funding, many schools have been forced to supplement their paid IT support with student volunteers. While a viable solution to the tech support problem, it does raise some critical issues. An education network has to safeguard a great deal of sensitive information: grades, disciplinary records, exams and attendance records, just to mention a few. Also, some components of many systems, like some FireWire devices and portable storage peripherals, are so delicate, and, in some cases, of such limited stability, that having anything but the bare minimum of qualified users is less than circumspect. How can these two ideas be reconciled?
Advanced Force’s DeviceLock provides a reasonable, cost-effective possibility. Noting that, according to industry trade research, over 80% of security breaches are inside jobs, this software utility creates internal firewalls for your various system components. Floppy drives, USB and FireWire devices, infrared, serial and parallel ports, Magneto-Optical disks, CD-ROMs and ZIP drives can all be configured for different levels of administrative access, and password protected. Worried about your library or AV club student techs making inappropriate use of DVD drives or multimedia? Simply reconfigure their access privileges to only allow them to use those system components necessary to their duties, and assign others on a “need-to-use” basis.
DeviceLock can protect network and local computers against viruses, trojans and other malicious programs often injected from removable disks as well as protect disks from accidental or intentional formatting. DeviceLock even supports remote installs, enabling a Systems Administrator to set up a service on remote machines without ever having to physically go to them. I quickly download the software onto our office network, and in approximately five minutes I was able to establish more protective security features on our system than the combination of several software suites combined had previously.
Although DeviceLock is not as well known, or publicized, as some of the more boutique, pervasively marketed software and hardware solutions on the shelves these days, based on both the uniqueness of its features, and the cost factor, it deserves to be. Any school technology buyer with a need to produce results in the system security area—which, actually, should include just about any school tech buyer in New York—should give this product at least a Missouri look. For information, or to purchase and download, log on to the manufactures site, www.protect-me.com.#