Vancouver-based Absolute has announced Absolute 7, the new version of its endpoint visibility and protection offering. While it has several upgrades, the big one is Absolute Reach. It leverages Absolute’s Persistence technology with a newly-built scripting engine to allow IT teams to create scripts easily on any endpoint, whether on or off the network.
“The big feature here is Absolute Reach,” said Jason Short, senior director of product management at Absolute. “It is a script delivery and execution tool that supports both Windows and Mac and is based on our Persistence connection to those devices.” Persistence, which Absolute has used in their firmware for many years, provides both network visibility and self healing capabilities, and was extended to Absolute endpoint applications earlier this year.
Absolute Reach lets IT execute any action on any endpoint device, and deploy scripts to address vulnerabilities.
“Organizations still typically use Microsoft Active Directory global policies for this and there are issues with that,” Short said. “Things have to be connected to the network. It doesn’t work as well with non-Microsoft products like Macs. It’s also not great on feedback and compliance on script executions.”
Reach’s name comes from its ability to Reach devices anywhere, on or off the network.
“If a device hasn’t checked in in 60 days, Active Directory will automatically drop it,” Short noted. “We leverage Persistence connectivity to reach devices which are off the network, because we can still reach them through the firmware.”
Short also indicated that while Persistence is an important part of Reach, it’s not really the major part.
“That’s the new scripting engine, which we built from scratch,” he said. “Before this, we had a handful of out-of-the-box actions that a customer could take. If they wanted to take a new action, they generally had to call in and ask us to add a new feature. Now with Reach, they have the full flexibility to send out their own scripts to their own devices. The customer has full control, using similar tools they use today like PowerShell. Nothing else has the full reach to all their environments that this does, as well as full confirmation.”
The next release of the product will extend scripting capability, providing access to Absolute’s library of verified and actionable prebuilt scripts.
“That will be in November,” Short said. “The Absolute Library will allow all customers to be able to move quickly on things when a vulnerability becomes apparent.”
While Absolute Reach is clearly the headliner here, Short pointed out that there are some other significant additions in Absolute 7.
“We have done a full refresh of the console, and redid the menu infrastructure along the way that customers interact with workflows, rather than by setting it up along a functional base,” he said. “We had been using an older approach, which we had been holding onto for a while, but have now changed that.”
Absolute 7 also makes changes to the API framework and authentication.
“We are now closer to what Amazon is doing for APIs,” Short said. “We wanted to be on the front end of that release.”
Absolute 7 has been in beta for three months, and will be released this month.
“I think we have done more development and innovation in the past year at Absolute than in the previous 18 years combined, and that growth is just accelerating,” Short concluded. “We plan to continue that.”