The InfoWorld Test Center assesses the readiness of 10 anti-spyware operatives for active enterprise duty
To be fair, the real-time protection offered by all of the products tested is far and away superior to what was available just a year ago -- and absolutely better than using nothing at all. Real-time protection must achieve the same effectiveness we expect from our anti-virus protection: it must be capable of blocking the installation from ever occurring. Simply watching for a process isn’t enough; it needs to be eliminated, either out of the HTTP stream or as it is being installed.
All of these solutions provide scanning and cleaning services both on-demand (aside from F-Secure) and on a schedule, all from the admin console. Not all client-installed agents allow the end-user to initiate either a scan or clean task. In fact, the products from Computer Associates, SurfControl, Tenebril, and Trend Micro don’t even show an icon on the system tray or have a way for an end-user to interact with the agent. Scan and clean events are usually going to be scheduled by the administrator, but it would be nice to allow users the choice of launching their own scans.
Since my previous review, all of these anti-spyware products have also matured insofar as managing product and definition updates. All of them centrally manage definition updates, acting as a single distribution source. LANDesk Security Suite 8.6 goes one better by allowing clients in the same subnet or workgroup to download updates in a p-to-p fashion even before looking to the central server, and Spy Sweeper designates distributors, special Spy Sweeper clients in different subnets, to help share program and definition updates.
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Computer Associates eTrust PestPatrol Anti-Spyware Corporate Edition r5
One of the most established brands in anti-spyware, Computer Associates eTrust PestPatrol comes with an updated detection engine and a smaller memory footprint. PestPatrol’s Active Protection (the company’s real-time implementation) is very weak, and reporting is nearly as bad. It does, however, provide good scanning and cleaning capabilities, and its UI is the easiest to use.
I reviewed CA’s eTrust PestPatrol Anti-Spyware last October, and, on the surface, things are pretty much the same as they were then. Installation proved to be intuitive as well as non-eventful. I was able to push the PestPatrol agent to my client PCs right from the administration console. A command line distribution method is also available for clients for which the admin console doesn’t have local administrative rights or for enterprises that have a software distribution system in place.