AOL To Release Security Recommendation Software - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
6/7/2006
03:26 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

AOL To Release Security Recommendation Software

The free software is designed to give advice to users about potential security risks.

AOL plans on Thursday to officially release its Active Security Monitor software, which has been in beta testing since May 15th.

The free software, available to AOL members and non-members alike, is designed to serve as an automated, personal IT department, offering advice to users about potential security risks.

"With one distinction," says Edmund Fish, SVP and general manager of premium and subscription service at AOL. "I don’t know how many IT guys you talk to but I'm not a computer scientist. Sometimes I don't understand what they're telling me. What this tries to do is talk in words and make recommendations in terms that non-computer scientists can follow."

ASM is thus more of an educational tool than security software. It's designed to identify risks in a way that's comprehensible to technically disinclined users and to recommend products that can mitigate those risks.

The problem, of course, is that being technically disinclined almost guarantees an insecure computer because modern computing is by its nature complex. Even for technically savvy users, plugging all the holes in today's software is a Herculean challenge.

"In reality, more than 80% of people who think they're covered are not," says Fish, citing a recent study conducted by AOL and the non-profit National Cyber Security Alliance.

ASM continually checks for the presence of protection in the following areas: anti-spyware, anti-virus, firewall, wireless security, operating system, and browser. It also checks for peer-to-peer software and PC utilities, which are known vectors for malware.

In addition to providing users with a security score for a single PC, it can also scan home networks to determine a household security score.

Fish says your security is only as strong as your weakest link, a truism he's seen validated firsthand. "My PC was well-managed because I run all of these various products," he says, "and my 13-year-old was the weakest link. And that actually compromised my network."

ASM is available for Windows PCs and the Internet Explorer browser. Support for Firefox and other browsers is planned.

Fish sees ASM as complementary to other security software and services like Windows Live OneCare. "Those products try to provide prevention or remediation," he says. "There are a variety of solutions. But the biggest problem is education."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
News
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll