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If you work for a small or medium sized business I can assure you that finding a reliable and cost-effective systems management solution is no easy task. If working as a Cyber Security Analyst has taught me one thing, it is that you can only protect what is visible and known. If I know my network, including the various systems, users, and applications communicating across the wire, I have a better chance at protecting my company's entire threat surface. This article is not only a love letter to the company Admin Arsenal, but a good start for those of you out there that need to conduct application reporting, 3rd patch management, remote administration, and a million other admin/security tasks that you will face in a small or medium sized organization. Best of all, the applications that Admin Arsenal provides are free up to a certain number of nodes.

Two products that can easily become an integral part of your security environment are PDQ Inventory and PDQ Deploy. I like to think of PDQ Inventory as Spiceworks on steroids (at least the ease in which I can see everything at a moments notice). This software scans your corporate network using a domain or local admin account and pulls information from your corporate Windows devices (agent-less). This includes hardware information, applications installed, user/group membership information, IP information, last reboot time, current user...etc You can remotely enter any user's filesystem and can a run simple cmd or PowerShell commands against a remote users machine. PDQ Inventory also directly links to Admin Arsenal's second product, PDQ Deploy. PDQ Deploy offers prepackaged software (similar to ninite pro) in which you can deploy the latest updates to the most common third party software. Forget about being sick and tired of outdated Java and Adobe leaving your environment vulnerable. Configure a few collections in PDQ Inventory, tie them to a scheduled deployment in PDQ and now every time a new security update is released all networked systems will be updated. You even have the ability to run reports (Simple or SQL) against all the information collected by PDQ Inventory. Yes, you can see every computer with software X or all computers still running XP (ahh). I really cannot say enough about these two products. They are not only great for the seasoned SysAdmin who needs to know how many 2008 R2 servers are running in his environment but also for the help desk support technician who quickly needs to know the MAC Address of a users NIC or the serial number of their device to open a vendor support case.

I implore all of my fellow professionals to give PDQ Inventory and Deploy a go and let me know what you think. These are two tools that integrate perfectly into an existing environment in support of all aspects of the common day IT Department. Here is a link to their site if interested:

Admin Arsenal Products --> No this isn't phishing...and no, I'm not just saying that.I am not a marketer for Admin Arsenal nor am I getting paid to write this article. I whole-heartedly want to share these tools as I know it could benefit many others who need to better understand and protect their environment.

Thanks for reading. Comment below if you have any questions.

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