Earlier this week, security company Secunia released a beta version of a new, free tool that scans all of your installed applications and analyzes their security patch statuses. The Secunia Personal Software Inspector evaluates all of the installed programs on your computer and compares them to a list of over 4,200 software programs.
After the scan is complete, Secunia PSI will categorize each program as "Up-To-Date" (everything is OK), "Insecure" (you've got an outdated version), or "End-of-Life" (your version is no longer supported). The results table presents the name and version number of your install app; each--when clicked--takes you to a page that gives more information about that program. p>
There are two possible buttons, blue and green, that may be listed to the right of each software application in your list. If software is marked as Insecure or End-of-Life, a blue button will link directly to the file that will update your application, if available. The green button is an informational button that seems to link to the same page as the software title or version number.
Although the Secunia Personal Software Inspector is in beta release, there are a few annoyances worth noting. For one, all of the links that Secunia provides open in Internet Explorer, regardless of your default browser setting. That's particularly annoying, considering that most of the browser-based links are downloads, and Internet Explorer doesn't include a native download manager.
Also, I noticed that the Secunia application database may not be completely up to date. Secunia Personal Software Inspector correctly identified my version of iTunes as 126.96.36.199, but it also told me it was up-to-date, although the most recent version of iTunes is 7.3.1. I might understand if Secunia was concerned with security patches only, but if that's the case, that fact should be made more clear on the informational pages.
Despite the possible flaws, I very much like the notion of a lightweight monitoring tool. Now if only it will tell me when Secunia Personal Software Inspector updates to a full 1.0 version.