HOWTO: Tracking newly installed software to prevent data breaches


Any newly installed software on your company’s workstations can be the first alert indicating a data breach at a very early stage. Monitoring all software installation events and proactively blocking all unauthorized installs it is a critical procedure that shall be performed by all departments on an ongoing basis.



Manually:

Option 1: via Control Panel on a local computer:

   1. Open Windows Explorer (Win+E)

   2. Navigate to “Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features” to display the following screen:

   

   3. Click on “Installed On” column to sort by installed date and have the most recently installed programs pop up on top.

Option 2: via WMIC utility on a remote computer:

   1. Launch PowerShell command prompt (press Win+R, type “powershell”, Enter)

   2. In the PS command prompt, Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product –Computer computername | Select-Object Name,InstallDate | Sort-Object InstallDate

With Action1 Endpoint Security Platform:

Step 1 - Sign-up for free:

 

Step 2 - Type your question in plain English:

Step 3 - Set filters, if necessary:

Step 4 - See results from all endpoints in seconds:

Endpoint NameInstall DateNameVendorVersion
fred.widgets.local20171204Microsoft Office 2016Microsoft19.0.8482
mac.widgets.local20171204Microsoft SQL Server 2015Microsoft11.1.5839
ray.widgets.local20171204Microsoft Office 2012Microsoft17.0.3629

Do not have time to write scripts? Check out Action1 Endpoint Security Platform. Ask questions in plain English such as "list of installed software" or "all running processes".
Get answers instantly from live systems or subscribe to real-time alerts:


A lot of cyberattacks start with installation of new software. According to 2016 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), a very common tactic used by intruders involves installation of remote control software , such as Team Viewer, Real VNC, join.me or LogMeIn. Quite a few registered attacks used email phishing techniques asking users to call an IT helpdesk to resolve a certain problem. When those users called a fictitious helpdesk, the cybercriminals picked up on the phone. Sounding very professionally, they asked users to install remote control software as the first step. Giving them installation URLs, they walked users through installation and then effectively took control of their computers as a stepping stone to accessing sensitive data stored on a corporate network.

Action1 is a free Cloud-based Endpoint Security Platform, which is free for up to 100 endpoints. Among hundreds of other built-in features, it allows to automate tracking of software installations across the entire network of endpoints and enable proactive response to this very common threat. This article explains how to automate tracking of installed new software using Action1 and also shows the alternate way of manual review procedure, for organizations that are not able to utilize Action1 in their environments.


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