We are using the basic Windows update software provided by Microsoft, but it doesn't update Java and Adobe products. And to be frank, it doesn't really do that great a job of updating Microsoft products. So we've been looking into products that can update products from all three vendors, after being approved by an IT administrator. The challenges are that I'm not picking the product, my IT counterparts are, and the products they are looking at are really expensive. The IT people are talking with several vendors, taking lots of meetings, and suffering through hours-long sales pitches, and I'm not really in a position to help them do it better. My approach would be to find out from a reliable third-party expert which vendor has the best value (functionality that meets our needs for the least cost), and try out that vendor's product. But that's not the way it's being done, so for now, we're still somewhat distant from our goal and may end up paying more than we should.
Another technology I've been checking out is email filtering products and services. Until recently, the filter we've been using has done a pretty good job of stopping spam and phishing messages. Now, for some reason, we have seen a sharp increase in phishing. Because this product is almost at end-of-life anyway, it's time for something new. I'm thinking of going with an Internet-based software-as-a-service offering instead of a premises-based appliance, like we have now, because it's only going to be filtering inbound e-mail. Why not stop those unwanted messages while they're still in the Internet, before they reach us? So I'm looking into email filtering services to see what best meets our needs. Postini was once the undisputed king of email filtering, but because I'm not really sure what Google is doing with it, I'm looking at other options.
Web filtering is another technology that is in need of refresh in my environment. Our old tried-and-true product is performing admirably, after years of being fine-tuned by daily administration, but because it's nearing the end of its support lifetime, I'll need to either upgrade or replace it. I'd like to find a smarter Web filtering product that doesn't require so much attention. Subscribing to blacklists and manually managing individual domains for blocking and allowing is time-consuming and not completely reliable, and that causes frustration for both our administrators and our end users.