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A Monthly Newsletter – October 2009

Following on the heels of last month's preview, new beta releases of the VShell® server, SecureCRT® and SecureFX® clients, and the VanDyke ClientPack tools are now available.  Words can only say so much: the new client interfaces are so nice you'll want to see for yourself.  Also just released are the results of the VanDyke Software fall IT survey, with interesting news on the importance of security audits, and whether outsourcing improves or degrades network security.  Lastly, from our online forums, a satisfying fix for a common remote host behavior.


1. SecureFX and SecureCRT 6.5 Beta 1 – Tabs and Still Better Tabs
2. Yet More Beta: VShell 3.6, VanDyke ClientPack 6.5
3. Fall IT Survey: Security Audits and Outsourcing
4. Heard on the Forums: Controlling Window Titles in SecureCRT
5. New and Current Releases

Online Resources

1. SecureFX and SecureCRT 6.5 Beta 1 – Tabs and Still Better Tabs

Last month we gave you a preview of the upcoming SecureCRT and SecureFX beta releases -- in words.  This month, since the UI upgrades are a big part of these releases, we thought we'd start with the new look and feel.  Go ahead, take a quick look:

SecureFX 6.5 and SecureCRT 6.5 Beta screenshots:

SecureFX has a tabbed main window interface to make switching sessions fast and easy.  SecureCRT button bar and tab status indicators are more polished and functional.  They also have new UI themes -- black, silver, and more -- that give you a more attractive window.  Both have been tested for compatibility with Windows 7, coming to a store near you on October 22nd.

Here is a summary of the new capabilities you'll find in the 6.5 beta releases:

SecureFX 6.5 usability takes a leap forward.

    • Tabbed main window keeps your sessions organized.
    • Parent (..) folder icon makes navigation quicker.
    • SCP adds another choice in file transfer protocols.

SecureCRT 6.5 raises productivity across the board.

    • Tab status indicators show session changes.
    • Drag and drop files from Windows Explorer to transfer files.
    • Real-time keyword highlighting in the session window.
    • A cleaner, more flexible button bar.
    • Better Unicode support -- multiple languages.

For complete information on the SecureCRT 6.5 and SecureFX 6.5 beta releases, visit our beta product section.

Or, download and evaluate a copy right away.

2. Yet More Beta: VShell 3.6, VanDyke ClientPack 6.5

Back-end control continues to evolve in the VShell server 3.6 beta release.  The new VShell 3.6 server lets you limit access to SSH2 commands and services by public key.  To take greater
advantage of Secure Shell across your organization, VanDyke ClientPack 6.5 introduces VRALib, a COM interface for scripting Secure Shell connections.

VShell 3.6 new benefits and functionality include:

    • Support for public key "private use" headers allows admins to restrict users to commands or subsystems through the key.
    • Ability to set environment variables with SSH2.
    • Expanded logging capability for UNIX and Linux versions.

VanDyke ClientPack VRALib scripting through a Windows COM API enables these activities:

    • Control SSH2 connections.
    • Send SSH2 commands and collect output.
    • Perform SFTP file transfer and remote file management.
    • Set up tunnels to encrypt TCP traffic with port forwarding.
    • Add host keys to the host key database.
    • Add keys to the SSH2 authentication agent.

For complete information on the new VShell and VanDyke ClientPack releases, please visit the VanDyke Software website.

Fall IT Survey: Security Audits and Outsourcing

Since 2004, VanDyke Software has commissioned an annual survey of IT executives and network administrators.  In this year's results, the most interesting responses concerned respondents' views on the value of security audits and the impact of outsourcing on network security.

First, security audits.  Here's the positive: 72% of respondents who used an outside firm to conduct security audits indicated that they were a worthwhile investment.  Beyond that, 54% felt that outside security audits resulted in identification of significant security problems.

Of the 67% of respondents who conducted internal security audits, close to half (46%) felt these internal audits identified significant security problems.  33% felt their internal audits "don't go far enough" and 43% believed their organization should undergo audits more often.

Other findings that encourage companies to conduct outside security audits, or to increase the frequency of audits:

    • Only 35% of companies conduct outside audits at least annually.
    • 24% of those surveyed reported that their organization has never had a formal security audit by an outside organization.
    • When asked why they have never had one, 47% felt they did not need one and 24% mentioned cost.

On the topic of outsourcing, a subject that goes hand in hand with economic belt-tightening at many companies, respondents gave clear signals of their concern.

    • 69% believed that outsourcing tech jobs offshore had a general negative impact on network security -- 22% felt it had no impact.
    • 29% of 350 survey respondents reported that their organization outsources technology jobs to an offshore location.
    • Other survey results include fresh data on the frequency of unauthorized intrusions, as well as IT's perception of the global economic situation.

To read the complete press releases detailing the Fall IT survey, please visit the VanDyke Software website.

4. Heard on the Forums: Controlling Window Titles in SecureCRT

Forum user GKnight stated his problem this way: "When I connect to some Linux servers, the tab name automatically changes to the command prompt.  This sometimes gets really annoying as I
may have long current directory names and the tabs get too wide and start pushing other tabs off the screen."

The solution may be to change a SecureCRT option, or to modify your remote initialization settings.  To read the complete forum thread, visit the VanDyke Software online forums.

Join the forums today!

5. New and Current Releases

Beta 1 releases of all current products were made Oct 1st.

VShell 3.6 server beta – limit access to SSH2 commands and services by public key, set environment variables via SSH2, audit vshelld events with Solaris BSM.

SecureCRT 6.5 beta – tab status indicator options, real-time keyword highlighting, drag-and-drop transfers from Windows Explorer, revised button bar.

SecureFX 6.5 beta – new tabbed main window, SCP transfer protocol support, parent folder ".." navigation.

ClientPack 6.5 beta – VRALib, a COM API for scripting SSH2 connections in Windows.

Official releases:

SecureCRT 6.2.3 makes it easy to change multiple session settings. Also a new option to automatically connect to sessions from your last use, log file options, and support for Agent in Activator as well as PKCS #11 authentication.

SecureFX 6.2.3 adds site synchronization filters to fine-tune transfer results.  Plus site synchronization filters, editing multiple session settings, recalling sessions from your last use, and more.

VShell 3.5.4 for Windows offers W3C log file format, a revised control panel, an internal user database for VShell-specific users, remote command execution using "RunAs" commands, and a module for FTP over SSL (FTPS) support.

Here is a list of the latest official product releases:

  SecureCRT 6.2.3
  SecureFX 6.2.3
  CRT™ 6.1.4
  VanDyke ClientPack 6.2.3
  VShell 3.5.4 Server for Windows
  VShell 3.5.4 Server for UNIX
     Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0
     Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0
     Solaris 10 (SPARC)
     Solaris 8 (SPARC)
     FreeBSD 7.0 (Intel x86)
     FreeBSD 6.1 (Intel x86)
     HP-UX 11
     Mac OS X 10.5 (Intel x86)
     Mac OS X 10.2
     AIX 5.3

All VanDyke Software products may be downloaded and evaluated free for 30 days. Licenses include one year of free upgrades and access to our expert technical support. Licenses for three years of upgrades and support are also available.

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