Cloud security provider Webroot has launched a vulnerability scanning tool as part of its Web Security Service designed to help identify and protect against threats, vulnerabilities and missing patches.
The scanner is included as part of the firm's cloud-based offering, so it can take advantage of the most up-to-date vulnerability information and spyware definitions, the firm said.
It is also linked to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Vulnerability Database, ensuring that it scans for the latest threats.
The new functionality tests for more than 400 common vulnerabilities found in operating systems, web browsers, browser plug-ins, Microsoft Office and its various components, media players, instant messaging software and various third-party tools, said Webroot.
All scans are invisible to the user, and can be centrally reported so that administrators gain a clear picture of which vulnerabilities exist and whether certain PCs are out-of-patch, according to Webroot chief technology officer Gerhard Eschelbeck.
"Around 85 per cent of infections come through the web," he said. " Corporations are doing a really great job patching and managing servers, but the desktop is an open battlefield for malware because there is not the same level of scrutiny."
Eschelbeck added that web browsers in particular would be better protected thanks to this new functionality.
"Browsers are becoming more sophisticated. They're becoming the new operating system and more exploits are targeting components like the browser or plug-ins, " he said.
"We're announcing essentially the ability to look deep into our customers' browser settings, and ensure there are no holes or missing security patches which could be cataclysmic for infections."
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