McAfee Australia Active VirusScan Suite SBE

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McAfee Australia Active VirusScan Suite SBE
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Bottom Line

Strong network antivirus security with layered protection and solid reporting.

Would you buy this?

Small businesses are often vulne­r­able to viruses and other security problems. Despite this, they seem to be the very organisations that care the least - until catastrophe strikes and the business is brought to its knees by a virus or a worm.

Simply buying antivirus software and installing it on every PC is not enough. It's essential to manage your network security to ensure that virus updates are applied; PCs are regularly scanned, and users don't tinker with the software. The Small Business Edition of McAfee's Active VirusScan Suite is targeted at this vulnerable market sector - an area typically ignored by existing corporate antivirus solutions.

McAfee Active VirusScan Suite SBE is a bundle of products, designed for up to 500 users. It comes with the standard McAfee VirusScan version 4.5 for Windows 9x PCs, and version 7.1 for Windows 2000 and above. No real surprises here: VirusScan is much improved and is now a compelling alternative to Norton AntiVirus.

The equally important job of enforcing antivirus security on all network machines is taken care of by ProtectionPilot, a new management tool. Previously, McAfee had used ePolicy Orchestrator.

ProtectionPilot 1.0 has a simpler, wizard-based installation, policy recommendations, and a dashboard-style display to show if all systems are up to date with virus signatures. The antivirus software guards desktops as well as Microsoft and NetWare file servers. If you need e-mail protection, check out Active Virus Defence SMB. Logically enough, ProtectionPilot installs itself as a standard MMC (Microsoft Management Console) snap-in, which makes the learning curve less steep. Much of the initial configuration is wizard-driven, which also simplifies things greatly. ProtectionPilot can make life easy for the network administrator, particularly if the workstation clients are running Windows 2000 or XP. If they are, all the client antivirus software can be remotely deployed to workstations.

If client PCs are running Windows 9x or NT then the administrator has to manually install it on each PC, although this can be automated if you're a dab hand with logon scripts. Interestingly, the software is happy managing or installing other vendors' antivirus products. Once this is done, ProtectionPilot makes it easy to administer and manage your network. The dashboard, viewable immediately after launching the console and authenticating, provides all the information you need in one glance: time of last signature update, the antivirus update status of all registered PCs, and the number of viruses found, as well as any actions taken.

Individual PCs can be targeted and their antivirus configuration tweaked remotely. Alternatively, a configuration policy can be set at the domain level to apply to all the member PCs. Should an outbreak occur, you can quickly scan or update your entire network and apply an on-the-fly outbreak policy to lock everything down until you can properly assess the situation.

Updating workstations can cause net­work bottlenecks. But with ProtectionPilot the central server checks for signature updates from McAfee and the clients check the central server for changes every hour. You can update all registered PCs with one click of the mouse.

of ProtectionPilot lets administrators schedule antivirus tasks on any machine on the network.

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