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Zone Labs beefs up corporate security

The maker of the free desktop firewall ZoneAlarm announces an updated version of its software for managing security on business desktops.

Zone Labs, best known as the maker of the free desktop firewall ZoneAlarm, announced on Monday an updated version of its software for managing the security of corporate desktops.

The company?s latest software, Integrity 2.0, can set the security requirements for corporate PCs before the computers are allowed to connect to the network.

"Each vulnerable PC and the important data it contains must be secured," Frederick Felman, vice president of Zone Labs, said in a statement.

The Integrity server and administrator software links with PCs running the company's ZoneAlarm personal firewall to manage the conditions under which those computers can connect to the network and the Internet. Administrators can use the system to set the firewall security to block certain applications, such as file trading, spyware and known Trojan horses, as well as to monitor the software "ports" through which a computer sends and receives data.

Blocking spyware has become a common feature of firewalls and antivirus software. With the proliferation of programs that allow an attacker to steal data or surreptitiously take control of a victim's computer, network administrators need better tools to make sure that every PC on the network has the proper security in place.

In May, the San Francisco-based company announced it had secured $24.5 million in venture capital, which it planned to use to boost its international sales effort and add to its support networks.

Zone Labs estimates that it has approximately 20 million users of Zone Alarm. The vast majority having downloaded the free version, said Felman, but about 1.5 million people use Zone Labs' commercial product, ZoneAlarm PRO.