The modern PC comes with a dazzling array of ports, network connections, and media bays, every one of which could be an entry point for a disgruntled, or perhaps simply misguided, employee. Smartline's latest version of DeviceLock provides administrators with the ability to lock down these ports on multiple PCs from a single interface. Average users may not need this level of granular control, but for network administrators looking to lock down their networks, DeviceLock is a great tool for protecting against viruses, Trojan horses, and other malicious programs often injected from removable discs.
Smartline offers DeviceLock 5.7 available for download on its Web site. You can try a 30-day trial version for free; after that, you must pay $35 for a single-user license. The program works with Windows NT/2000/XP and Windows Server 2003. You can install DeviceLock 5.7 in a matter of minutes and set access control during installation or at any time afterward, as long as you have administrator privileges for the computer.
DeviceLock's interface isn't fancy, but it is more graphically driven than most network administration programs. Icons show each of the systems on the network, and controlling access is a simple point-and-click process.
DeviceLock gives you control over just about every bay and port on your system, including floppy drives, removable flash drives, optical media drives, serial ports, USB ports, FireWire ports, and infrared ports. This hinders unauthorized users from loading anything malicious onto your system, such as a Trojan horse, or taking anything off, such as that spreadsheet with the salaries for the entire company. Considering that a single DVD-RW can hold more than 4GB of data, you could be talking about a big chunk of your firm's intellectual property. You can also set time limits for specific access so that users can access flash media during the day, but after-hours they will be locked out.
DeviceLock consists of two parts: DeviceLock Service and DeviceLock Manager. Install DeviceLock Service on each client that requires protection, and the security software will provide access control without the user's knowledge. You control access with the DeviceLock Manager, the control interface that enables you to remotely manage each networked computer that has the DeviceLock Service installed. DeviceLock uses Remote Procedure Call (RPC) technology, the Windows NT user-level security subsystem for authentication for communication between the service and the manager. Although you can set many of these same controls using group policies in NT, DeviceLock makes the process more intuitive.
In addition to protecting your network from the machinations of malicious malcontents bent on destruction, you can also use DeviceLock to keep well-meaning but nontechie users from erasing important media or introducing malware into your enterprise.
Smartline offers a relatively basic support package with DeviceLock. The company includes a lengthy and detailed FAQ online and offers e-mail technical support for free. Telephone support is sadly absent, but the abundance of online resources makes up for this a bit.