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News

Automated patch management for embedded XP

Shavlik Technologies : 08 December, 2009  (New Product)
Agentless automatic patch management is now available for XPe devices including point-of-sale devices, thin clients and kiosks
Shavlik Technologies has debuted a new agentless solution that delivers complete and comprehensive patch management for Windows XP Embedded (XPe) devices commonly used in hundreds of applications. The solution makes Shavlik the industry's only patch management provider with full support of XPe devices to secure these devices against viruses, worms, and hackers.

Windows XPe devices use a stripped down version of the Windows XP operating system on a thin client device like a kiosk or point-of-sales (POS) device. Because the XPe uses thin clients, many of the services and components used in the full version of the Windows XP operating system have been disabled or are not available. An agent-based approach to patching these machines often doesn't work because there's limited disk space or services required by an agent are not enabled.

'The number of XPe devices used by consumers and individuals every single day that may have never been patched is staggering,' said Nancee Melby, director, product marketing, Shavlik Technologies. 'The agent-based approach is impractical for patching the vast majority of these devices, so they simply remain unpatched and an entry point for hackers. Shavlik's agentless approach eliminates the obstacles to patching Windows XPe devices and leaves no footprint other than the patches themselves.'

According to Melby, Windows XPe devices can include retail POS cash registers, slot machines, airport or train station kiosks, gas station self service pumps, ATM-styled kiosks at movie theaters and more. "POS devices have traditionally received little attention because an attack on a single system would yield little data; they were viewed as insignificant," Melby added. "But breaches at Hannaford Brothers and Dave & Buster's shattered the illusion that these devices are not a reason for concern."

Shavlik's new XPe support not only provides a means to easily and effectively patch these devices, but also helps organisations using XPe devices to be fully PCI-compliant. The PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) requires that XPe devices that process electronic payments meet certain standards for patch management and vulnerability assessments. This includes requiring all systems to use the most recently released software patches to protect against insider threats as well as external hackers and viruses.
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