The latest version of Outpost Firewall Pro empowers users to share advice and configuration skills – automatically – with the ImproveNet security community network. Firewall configurations can now be created and updated automatically, with user consent, while the actual configuration of the firewall is handled remotely in the background by Agnitum security professionals.
Other improvements in the new version include an upgraded anti-spyware plug-in that ensures sensitive areas of users’ PC are constantly monitored for possible spyware activity, and a more intuitive, customizable logging system.
Creating the rules for applications in Outpost is now significantly easier. ImproveNet relieves users of the need to set all their firewall security rules themselves by giving them the option to network with other Outpost users and Agnitum engineers to share configurations and gain access to universally-applicable Internet access security rules. Users simply check a box in the Outpost interface to give their permission for rules they create to be automatically reported to Agnitum engineers. The engineers check the rules for validity and then automatically distribute them to all other users through the Agnitum Update tool.
Agnitum has incorporated a spyware sensor into Outpost’s active connections monitor. When a new application requests network access for the first time, it is automatically checked for spyware by the sensor, so that malware cannot hitch a ride on the application and infect the host. It also ensures that resource usage is kept at optimal level in those instances when continuous spyware protection might cause an unacceptable performance hit – for example, if the computer is being used to play a demanding PC game.
The improved logging system in Outpost 3.5 uses fewer system resources and provides easier-to-read logs. The program can now log specific application activities by defining log exclusions for a particular Internet or network activity. The logging system includes optimized default settings, with disabled logging for specific rules to allow or deny a connection. Advanced users will appreciate the flexibility of being able to create custom logging exclusions for peer-to-peer or NetBIOS communications, which can generate significant number of log records.
“These improvements, like those that have gone before, have been implemented in furtherance of Agnitum’s mission,” states Global Vice President of Sales & Marketing Mikhail Penkovsky. “All of our efforts are dedicated to ensuring that the Internet is a safe place for everyone, and that unnecessary or cumbersome restrictions should not prevent the user from enjoying the benefits of the Internet community. And we’re delighted to add to the productiveness of that community with the introduction of ImproveNet.”