By itself, the File Sight monitor sees activity on a file server, which includes which users are accessing files, what actions (reading, writing, deleting, etc) they are doing, their IP address, etc. However, once a file arrives on the client's computer, the server-based File Sight monitor can't see what is happening. Is the file being copied to a thumb drive? Opened in Word? Sent via Email? The File Sight Endpoint helps answer those questions.
The File Sight Endpoint is a small agent that gets installed on end-user Windows computers. It uses very little resources and shouldn't be noticed. It has no user interface.
By detecting a file being read from the server by Explorer.exe and then that same filename being written to the local computer, you can be fairly certain that a file copy is taking place. On the other hand, if you find the file was read into a process named Word.exe, and no local saves took place, this would appear to be a user just editing a document.
The File Sight Endpoint will add additional information to file I/O records that are saved by the File Sight Monitor. These extra fields will be in alerts and available in reports.
The client and server both need to be Windows 7 / Windows 2008 R2 or newer for the server to know which Endpoint to communicate with. If either is older, an older version of the SMB protocol is used which did not provide the client IP address.
The File Sight Endpoint should not be installed on a server where the PA File Sight Central Monitoring Service, or a Satellite Monitoring Service are installed.
|Normal Client||Client with the File Sight Endpoint*|
The File Sight Endpoint performs the following functions:
We use the term "probable copy" because the actual file contents are not compared between all files read and all files written. This would have a large performance impact on the client computer. Instead, the File Sight Endpoint notes that a file (Finance.xls for example) is read from the network, and then a file also named Finance.xml is saved to disk by the same process (Explorer.exe for example). This looks very much like a copy.
No changes to the File Sight monitor are required. If files are accessed from a computer running the File Sight Endpoint, the extra data will automatically be recorded and added to any alerts that are sent.
The only configuration needed for the File Sight Endpoint is to give a host name/IP address and port for the central service/Satellite that will be used for communication. This is done via the command line.
Only one connection to a central service/Satellite is needed. If the client computer will use files from multiple files servers that are all being watched by PA File Sight, and they are all part of the same Ultra installation, they will communicate amongst themselves to find the File Sight Endpoint if needed.
The actual File Sight Endpoint is found at:
C:\Program Files\PA File Sight\Install\pafsendp.exe
The File Sight Endpoint executable program (pafsendp.exe) just needs to be copied to a client computer and run with some command line options to direct it to the server it should connect to. It does not require any additional files. The copy and execution steps can be done using any techniques or infrastructure that you already use, such as executing a script, using a software distribution program, or Microsoft's Group Policy. So the steps are simply:
The endpoint supports a few command line options. The command line options are not case sensitive.
|-S||Don't show a pop-up when installing or uninstalling the service|
|-I||Install the endpoint as a service named pafsendp|
|-U||Uninstall the endpoint as a service|
|Give the hostname or IP address, and port, of the PA File Sight Central Service, or a Satellite that should be connected to. Because Satellites might be unavailable at times, or just for added robustness, additional hostnames can be given which the Endpoint will connect to if the current target host is not available.|
|-LOCK||Set the endpoint service so it cannot be stopped. Unlocking happens via the Console in the Endpoint Operations view.|
Here are links to three examples of how to install the File Sight Endpoint.
You can check to see which computers have the File Sight Endpoint installed and running by looking in the Console at Advanced Services > File Sight Endpoints.
If you have some File Sight Endpoints that are not up to the latest version, you can right click the File Sight Endpoint node and choose to have an update command sent to them.
Most often you would run pafsendp on the target computer with a command such as:
This could be run using any software distribution mechanism you already have in place. If you don't have something in place see the Example Install Script or Example Group Policy below.
A few notes:
If you are monitoring servers at multiple sites (separate local networks), be sure the Endpoint is connected to and communicating with a Satellite or the Central Service that is on the same local network as the Endpoint.
If you don't already have a way to deploy software to workstations, this example installation script could be used to get the File Sight Endpoint installed on an end-user's computer. This example uses Microsoft's PsExec program. It also uses Sleep.exe which is in the same folder as pafsendp.exe.
In the example below, our target client computer is 192.168.7.6. We'll be using an administrator account, with password s3cr3t. The central service is at 192.168.7.22, running on port 8000, with a Satellite at 192.168.10.4 that we'll use as a secondary connection.
This example will show how to use Group Policy to run a Batch file that will install the File Sight Endpoint on many workstations and then start the Endpoints services.
1. Save the pafsendp.exe file to a shared drive that all workstations will have access to. You will need to use that location in the script.
2. Create a script that will copy the pafsendp.exe file to the workstations, and run the installer, and start the service. Here is an example.
3. Create a new Group Policy Object in Active Directory:
4. Add the startup script settings to the GPO:
5. Edit the Security Filtering of the new Group Policy Object:
Once you have these steps completed, the new Group Policy will be added to the workstations within one to two hours. When the workstation is rebooted, the script will run and install and start up the PA File Sight Endpoint.
Testing: If you need to test how this group policy works. You can force the workstation to update its Group Policy using the following command on the remote workstation. Open an Elevated Command Prompt. Then type in the command and run it.
You will be asked to log off to complete the updating of the GPO at this time. The logging off will not run the batch file, you will need to reboot the workstation for this to occur.