All tests were performed under Windows 2000 Server running Microsoft Exchange Server 2000. Both servers had the latest service packs installed. I began testing by installing each product on the Windows server according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Following installation, I walked through the typical administration tasks for each product. Points were awarded for ease, power, and flexibility of installation, configuration, and ongoing management and administration. Products with a Web-based management interface, or that provided centralized management of multiple servers, scored well.
Following installation and configuration I ran a series of virus detection tests on each product. To remove the chance of secondary infection I used the antivirus test file provided by EICAR (European Institute for Computer Anti-Virus Research). The EICAR test “virus” is merely a sequence of harmless bytes that mimics a computer virus and should be detected by antivirus scanners. My tests involved using the EICAR virus to simulate malicious code embedded in the text of an e-mail, to simulate malicious code contained in an e-mail attachment, and to simulate malicious code contained in a zip-compressed attachment.