LanGuard from GFI Software is back again this year and those who are familiar with the tool will feel right at home with the latest version for 2014. On the surface, not much appears to have changed from last year, so here is the rundown for those unaware of this product. GFI LanGuard offers a full suite of functionality - from vulnerability scanning and remediation and patch management through network and software auditing - all bundled into an easy-to-use software platform. New this year, GFI has added vulnerability assessment of mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets running iOS, Android or Windows Mobile, along with patch management capabilities for Linux, as well as a number of third-party applications.

We had no trouble at all getting this product installed and running in our test environment. The solution comes as a software package that includes an executable installer that can be run on a Windows-based machine anywhere on the network. We ran the installer on one of our test servers and were greeted with a short installation wizard, which at completion installed LanGuard along with all the prerequisite software need for the product to run. After it was installed, we were able to run the application and get started with setting up our first scan.

We found the application to be easy and intuitive to use right away. We noticed that not much has changed to the user interface from last year, which was pleasant because we felt instantly comfortable moving around in the application and running scans. We also found this product to include many reporting templates for easy compliance-based reporting. These included several compliance standards, such as PCI DSS, HIPAA, PSN CoCo, SOX, and GLBA, among others. Beyond compliance and vulnerability assessment, this offering also features many inventory-based features, including change alerts, ensuring anti-virus and security applications are current and active, and full software auditing.

Documentation included PDF installation, administrator and several supplemental guides. The installation guide provided a well-detailed overview of the installation and initial setup process along with brief introductions to features and functions. The administrator guide included setup information as well, but also provided in-depth configuration information and advance use of features. We found all documentation to be well-organized and easy to follow with many diagrams, examples and clear, step-by-step instructions and screen shots.

GFI includes the first year of standard support as part of the purchase price. This includes access to updates and upgrades; content updates, such as vulnerability definitions; 24/7 phone, email and chat-based technical support; and access to an online support area which includes a knowledge base and user forum. After the first year, customers can continue to receive support through a maintenance agreement, which can be purchased in one-, two- and three-year increments.

At a price starting at around $12 per seat, we found this product to be a very good value for the money. GFI LanGuard offers a solid vulnerability management feature set along with some inventory management functionality in a single, easy-to-use application.