guidelines so that the network cannot be sabotaged or inadvertently screwed up, and so that sensitive information cannot be accessed by those without appropriate authorization. It generally involves setting passwords that give users controlled access. A security management subsystem can monitor users logging on to a network resource, refusing access to those who enter inappropriate access codes.

For some users, access to any network resource is inappropriate. Such users are usually company outsiders. For internal network users, access to information originating from a particular department may be inappropriate. Access to personnel files, say, is generally inappropriate for users outside the human resources department.

While many network operating systems provide limited network management capability, they are designed to work with other product vendors that offer specific network management products for more detailed needs.

Stuff You Can Buy

ClickNet Professional

ClickNet Professional 4.0 provides powerful and comprehensive managing tools for PC LANs. It provides complete, automated documentation for all the PCs on the network and helps identify, diagnose and resolve network problems.

Users can automatically inventory PC desktops, diagram the network, initiate remote-control sessions and produce detailed network reports.

ClickNet Professional 4.0 is a 32-bit application and requires Windows 95, 98 or NT.

Additionally, ClickNet Y2K and VeriDate software packages can help administrators assess and evaluate hardware and software Y2K compliance.

Additional information is available by contacting ClickNet at 800/599-3200.

Computer Associates

Driven by the rising demand for automated network management solutions, Computer Associates' eight software programs -- AimIT, CryptIT, ShipIT, ProtectIT, NetworkIT Pro, GuardIT, DoubleIT and DirectIT -- are giving network administrators broader reach and greater flexibility in managing their enterprise network.

AimIT is an easy-to-use program for tracking and managing IT assets in a heterogeneous environment. It provides automated hardware and software inventory, configuration management, software metering and auditing, reporting and advanced scripting tools.

AimIT minimizes the need to visit individual desktops for routine management, provides detailed information about hardware and software configuration, and notifies the network manager when a problem is detected. It minimizes downtime by providing consistent system configuration. It requires Windows NT and agents: Windows 3.x, 95, 98 or NT, OS/2, Macintosh, UNIX, OpenVMS.

CryptIT is an advanced data-encryption solution that protects data against potential intrusion. It automatically encrypts data when sent over a TCP/IP network.

CryptIT provides encryption for all TCP/IP environments and allows administrators to manage network encryption policies for a large number of hosts from a central location.

It requires an Intel-based server, 8MB of disk space and 32MB of RAM, and requires Windows 98, 95 or NT.

ShipIt provides automated distribution, installation and upgrades of software applications, operating systems and files. Managers will avoid the cost of manually administering software, freeing skilled IT staff to perform other critical functions.

ShipIT provides distribution schedules, automates time-critical deliveries and conducts automated installation.

Supporting environments are Windows NT, UNIX, NetWare.

ProtectIt secures a distributed heterogeneous IT environment. It eliminates the need for multiproduct integration and can protect access to data from anywhere at any time.

It allows network managers to define security policies and implement them throughout the network. Data from all platforms can be combined into a single report, allowing easy audit and review of access patterns or user-specific action. It runs with Windows NT, HP-UX, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX and AVX (RACF, CA-TOP Secret, and CA-ACF2).

NetworkIT Pro efficiently and effectively manages the entire networked environment centrally from the enterprise level. It is protocol-independent, monitoring and managing network traffic while providing an integrated picture of network performance.

NetworkIT Pro automatically discovers and classifies all networked devices and assets and builds an intuitive topology map.