Portable apps do one thing for the system and network administrator -- make the job easier. The better (and more diverse) your portable apps, the more jobs are made easier. Security is one area where portable apps can make a big difference. But there are so many to choose from, it's hard to piece together a collection of tools that best fit your needs. To that end, I want to introduce you to some portable security apps you might never have heard of. Even if you only take away one or two of these tools, your portable security toolkit will have improved significantly.
Note: This list is also available as a photo gallery.
1: SmartSniffSmartSniff (Figure A) enables you to capture TCP/IP packets traveling on a network adapter and view the packets between source and destination. The TCP/IP conversations can be viewed in ASCII mode (for text-based protocols, such as HTTP, SMTP, POP3, and FTP) or as a hex dump (for non-text based protocols, such as DNS). Having SmartSniff with you allows quick troubleshooting a networking issue from any PC on your network.
2: OmziffOmziff (Figure B) is an encryption utility that can encrypt, split, and securely delete files (according to DOD standards), create file hashes, and generate random passwords. The encryption allows you to choose from all the standard types (Blowfish, IDEA, Twofish, and more) and even includes a few utilities (random number generator, file append, and a command prompt) that can help you with other tasks.
3: Eraser PortableEraser Portable (Figure C) is a secure data removal tool that can remove data from a drive with multiple wipes, pattern writing, and more. The portable version of this tool is based on the full version of Eraser and offers the same features. This tool can erase files, folders, and even previously (insecurely) deleted files. You can also instruct Eraser Portable to automatically restart or shut down a PC.
4: Remove Fake AntivirusRemove Fake Antivirus (Figure D) should really have a better name. But even with the wacky name, the tool does exactly what it says it does -- checks for any fake antivirus and removes it. The tool removes nearly 50 antivirus variants. This particular tool can be run as a portable app or, with the help of some scripting, can be saved on a drive and run on schedule or at bootup.
Remove Fake Antivirus
5: BleachBitBleachBit (Figure E) is one of the best tools for freeing up hard disk space and guarding privacy. This tool works effortlessly to free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard various types of junk you may not have known was on a system. BleachBit is available as a portable app as well as an installable for both Windows and Linux.
Build your kit
Your portable arsenal is invaluable. Having a set of tools you can carry around with you and run from a USB drive will make you more efficient and keep your end users working without downtime. Give these tools a try and see if one or more of them doesn't wind up in your permanent portable toolkit.
Do you have a favorite portable security app that didn't make this list? Share your recommendations with fellow TechRepublic members.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for Techrepublic and Linux.com. As an avid promoter/user of the Linux OS, Jack tries to convert as many users to open source as possible. His current favorite flavor of Linux is Bodhi Linux (a melding of Ubuntu and Enlightenment). When Jack isn't writing about Linux he is hard at work on his other writing career -- writing about zombies, various killers, super heroes, and just about everything else he can manipulate between the folds of reality. You can find Jack's books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Outnumbered in his house one male to two females and three humans to six felines, Jack maintains his sanity by riding his mountain bike and working on his next books. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website Get Jack'd.