Media releases are provided as is by companies and have not been edited or checked for accuracy. Any queries should be directed to the company itself.

GFI releases new product to enable network-wide control of portable storage devices

  • 25 August, 2004 17:57

<p>GFI LANguard P.S.C. can control the use of USB sticks and therefore prevent corporate information leaks and the entry of viruses or Trojans</p>
<p>GFI today announced the release of GFI LANguard Portable Storage Control (P.S.C.), a new network security product that can prevent unauthorized users from taking information from the network or introducing malware via USB (Universal Serial Bus) sticks and other removable media (floppy, CD). It also allows administrators to control the connection of devices that can register storage in Windows, such as iPods, smartphones, digital cameras and handhelds.</p>
<p>The need to control entry and exit of data via USB sticks and other devices</p>
<p>Companies are investing heavily in network anti-virus software, firewalls, email and web content security. Yet, in most companies, any user at the office can plug in a USB stick the size of the average keychain and take in/out 1GB of data. This poses a tremendous threat: Users can take confidential data that they have access to, or they can introduce viruses, Trojans, illegal software and more – actions that can severely affect an organization and its network. Yet, companies have no way of controlling this.</p>
<p>A serious new threat to businesses</p>
<p>In the 2003 CSI/FBI Computer Crime and Security Survey, 80% of all respondents cited insider abuse of network access as a most pressing security concern for companies. The survey also showed that theft of proprietary information caused the greatest financial loss to companies (totaling over $70m in one year) and disgruntled employees are the most likely source of attack for companies.</p>
<p>Technology analyst Gartner warns that portable devices containing a USB or FireWire connection are a serious new threat to businesses. In a July 2004 report, Gartner named portable storage devices as a significant security risk in the workplace and advised that these can be used both to download confidential data, and also to introduce a virus into the company network. Gartner’s report listed pocket-sized hard drives that connect using FireWire or USB hard drive or keychain drive, disk-based MP3 players such as the iPod, and digital cameras with smart media cards, memory sticks, compact flash and other memory media as potential security threats.</p>
<p>“Companies are underestimating the danger of the uncontrolled use of USB sticks and removable media at work. Apart from the obvious issue of unauthorized exit of data, there is the problem that users can bring in dangerous viruses and Trojans,” said Nick Galea, GFI CEO.</p>
<p>How GFI LANguard P.S.C. works</p>
<p>GFI LANguard P.S.C. offers administrators network-wide control of which users can plug in a USB or other removable storage device and access CDs and floppies. To do so, it installs a small footprint agent on the user’s machine. This agent is only 1.2MB in size – the user will never know it is there. GFI LANguard P.S.C. includes a remote deployment tool, allowing administrators to deploy the agent to hundreds of machines with just a few clicks. After installation, the agent queries Active Directory when the user logs on and sets permissions to removable storage accordingly. If the user is not a member of a group that is permitted access, then access to the device/CD/floppy is denied.</p>
<p>Controls access to all types of USB sticks, SD cards (digital cameras), IPODs/MP3 players and more</p>
<p>USB sticks are a key threat as they are small, easily hidden and can store up to 1GB of data. GFI LANguard P.S.C. recognizes all USB sticks. In addition, it can control access to any device that can be mounted as a hard disk (whether accessed via USB, FireWire, etc.). For example, plugging a digital camera into a USB port gives users access to storage on an SD card. SD cards are available in several sizes including 512MB and over.</p>
<p>Controls access to CDs and floppies</p>
<p>With GFI LANguard P.S.C., administrators can centrally disable users from reading or writing data to/from a CD or floppy. This way, normal users can be prevented from introducing data that could be harmful to the network, such as viruses, Trojans and other malware.</p>
<p>Easy configuration of users who can have access, via Active Directory</p>
<p>To grant a user access to any one or all three of the devices, the administrator must simply make that user a member of pre-defined Active Directory groups for each of the three types of devices. An entire department can also be made a member of the group, for instance. Other storage control software requires cumbersome per-machine administration, forcing administrators to make the changes on a per-machine basis and update the configuration on each machine before the settings can take effect. By contrast, configuration of GFI LANguard P.S.C. is effortless and leverages the power of Active Directory.</p>
<p>Pricing and availability</p>
<p>GFI LANguard P.S.C. is available from distributors around the world or online at the GFI website ( It is highly cost-effective with prices starting at US$295 to monitor up to 25 computers; a version for up to 100 computers costs $495. For more information and to download the product, one can visit</p>
<p>About GFI</p>
<p>GFI is a leading provider of network security, content security and messaging software. Key products include the GFI FAXmaker fax connector for Exchange and fax server for networks; GFI MailSecurity email content/exploit checking and anti-virus software; GFI MailEssentials server-based anti-spam software; GFI LANguard Network Security Scanner (N.S.S.) security scanning and patch management software; GFI Network Server Monitor that automatically sends alerts, and corrects network and server issues; and GFI LANguard Security Event Log Monitor (S.E.L.M.) that performs event log based intrusion detection and network-wide event log management. Clients include Microsoft, Telstra, Time Warner Cable, Shell Oil Lubricants, NASA, DHL, Caterpillar, BMW, the US IRS, and the USAF. GFI has offices in the US, the UK, Germany, Cyprus, Romania, Australia and Malta, and operates through a worldwide network of distributors. GFI is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and has won the Microsoft Fusion (GEM) Packaged Application Partner of the Year award.</p>
<p>All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.</p>
<p>For more information and review copies:
Please email Angelica Micallef Trigona on
GFI Software Ltd - Malta: Tel: +356 21382418; Fax: +356 21382419.</p>

Most Popular


Brother MFC-L3745CDW Colour Laser Multifunction

Learn more >



Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >


Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?