Everyone is aware of the benefits of antivirus applications. We all (hopefully) use one. Unfortunately, antivirus applications designed for home or small business use just don't suit the needs of an enterprise network containing more than a handful of computers. That's where centrally-managed, enterprise grade antivirus systems come in. Plenty of us have used one, if we've worked in or supported a large corporate network, however, most of us have probably only used one of the handful of biggest players.
In this edition of Five Apps, we take a look at five enterprise grade antivirus systems that fall just under that handful of major players. These five systems are among the myriad of systems available. The only requirement is that there is a centralized management console to manage and control the client-side software.
Avast! offers a pair of suites for endpoint management. The first is a basic suite containing endpoint protection, file server protection, and remote management. The second adds email server protection (including anti-spam) and a software firewall. Like the other selections on this list, Avast! allows administrators to create installation packages and push those to client systems on your network. It also has an auto-discovery feature that will find any unmanaged endpoints on your network and allow you to push that package to them. Finally, the client has a full interface allowing the end user to check on their protection level, run a scan, and do maintenance.
Offering a similar set of features, F-Secure Business Suite allows administrators to find systems - either from AD or IP-based autodiscovery - and build and deploy packages to those systems. F-Secure boasts a small footprint on the endpoint while still offering browsing protection, anti-malware, rootkit detection, IPS, and email and web filtering. End users are also able to view statistics on their local system within the client software.
Other than the apparently standard endpoint discovery and deployment features the other systems on this list also offer, Panda AdminSecure for Enterprise offers a built-in self-diagnosis system to allow administrators to check whether the system is functioning properly. The included dashboard gives admins a quick view of network health as well. Finally, there is Activity monitor/reporting tool to provide additional detail on what the system has handled recently. The Panda Security for Desktops client software is extremely thin (on the GUI, anyway). It exists solely of a notification center icon with right-click options for various system scans.
Previously owned by Sunbelt Software, VIPRE Antivirus offers the same similar Windows client features but also throws in management for Mac, iOS, and Android devices. The management console is fairly sparse, but still provides admins with the necessary information. On the client side, VIPRE also claims a small footprint and offers a robust set of statistics for the end user or local admin to check.
Webroot SecureAnywhere Business - Endpoint Protection is the only solution on this list that is cloud-based only. Some of the others offer a cloud-based service option, but Webroot is the only one that does not offer an on-premise system. However, Webroot is still one of the most impressive applications in the list. The dashboard gives admins a quick overview of their enterprise, endpoint details can be quickly checked, and policies, reports, and logs can be easily viewed. On top of that, though, is the client: it installs in seconds (literally about 6-8 seconds for me) and scans in less than two minutes (1 minute, 42 seconds for my test system). Also, Webroot claims that their client software will run alongside any other security software without conflict. The main disadvantage of this system is its cloud-based nature - company's deploying Webroot may have limited Internet bandwidth or security concerns with cloud software.