The InfoWorld Test Center assesses the readiness of 10 anti-spyware operatives for active enterprise duty
Like CounterSpy Enterprise and CA eTrust PestPatrol, TMAS is an anti-spyware point product -- it does not provide built-in anti-virus services. TMAS worked well alongside my Norton AntiVirus installation and didn’t complain about the Windows XP firewall. I had no trouble installing it on my Windows 2003 Server and pushing installations out to Windows XP Professional clients. The browser-based administration user interface is well-designed, and I found it very easy to navigate.
The network discovery portion of TMAS found all of my Windows domains and correctly listed all member computers. Installation of the TMAS agent was as simple as selecting a client PC from the list and clicking the Install button. A very easy-to-read Desktop Status window showed each client’s vital statistics, such as its status, last contact with the server, and the version of the agent running on it.
Creating various test policies took little time, simply because there weren’t that many choices to be made. Unlike in F-Secure Anti-Virus Client Security, most options are simply on or off. Options such as whether to do a quick scan or deep scan, whether to scan on startup, and if the policy should run on a schedule are all available.
Real-time protection, called Active Application Monitoring, works along the lines of Sunbelt CounterSpy. It doesn’t actively stop the malware from entering the system but allows it to save to disk and execute. Active Application Monitoring watches memory for specific processes, and, when detected, it terminates them before they can continue their dastardly deeds. In theory, this is fine, but as with CounterSpy, I saw a lag time between infection and termination, with one piece going undetected even after a scan and clean.
TMAS uses two small processes to monitor and maintain your client, using only about 21MB of RAM when idle. During a cleaning pass, a third process starts, and total RAM usage goes up to about 64MB, but CPU utilization stays around 50 percent. This is due in part to Trend’s dynamic CPU throttling. It will back off CPU usage when it sees other activity on the system, allowing for midday scans with minimal impact on end-user performance.
The reporting system in TMAS provides the core metrics an administrator would want, but you cannot save or customize any of the reports. For instance, I was not able to specify a date range or domain to view inside a specific report.
Trend Micro Anti-Spyware for Small and Medium Business is a step in the right direction, but the passive real-time protection and mediocre reporting make it less attractive for larger installations. The clean-cut user interface makes configuration and deployment a breeze, and the cleaning engine is up there with the best.
Webroot Spy Sweeper Enterprise 2.5
With the recent release of Spy Sweeper Enterprise 2.5, Webroot has put together a solid yet still easy-to-manage anti-spyware solution. Spy Sweeper scales well, has good real-time protection, and is easy to use and maintain. It does, however, suffer from some of the same problems plaguing other solutions, namely lackluster reporting. Overall, however, it proved to be a well-rounded solution to enterprise anti-spyware security needs.