Product Reviews

Guarding the Corporate Network

From your network and servers to workstations, Panda’s Global Virus Insurance protects you from nasty intruders.

When will the next computer virus strike? No one knows for sure, but you can count on it being sooner rather than later. Do you have to be reminded of the damage the Melissa and LoveLetter bugs caused corporate networks? One tool that can help you in this fight is Panda Software’s Global Virus Insurance.

Designed specifically for the corporate arena, this suite consists of Panda Administrator tools, Panda Antivirus for Networks, Panda Antivirus Platinum and Panda Antivirus 6.0.

The administrator tools set the Panda package apart from its competitors. With these tools, the three-stage Global Virus Insurance installation process — network, server and workstation — can be accomplished from a single server. For the network admin under a time crunch, this makes package installation swift.

Loading Panda Antivirus for Networks installs the antivirus program and engine. To load the engine to your network servers, you use the Panda Administrator tools to search for and select the proper servers. Clicking the Install button completes the task. Network and SMTP-based alerts then can be configured to notify you of any detected viruses. In the final step, you load the antivirus applications to your workstations and any services running on your remote servers. The domain logon script can be modified, if desired, to allow clients to load the antivirus software during login.

As I put Global Virus Insurance through its paces, I liked the way it offers real-time virus protection. On the other hand, competing applications such as Norton use a proxy approach that scans e-mail and files at set intervals. Global Virus Insurance will even detect viruses within FTP files before they’re downloaded to a hard drive.

Also, I was impressed at how efficiently the applications handle updates. You can do this two ways. The first, for renewing the antivirus program when a new version is available, is called an Upgrade. The second, for renewing the virus signature file (PAV.SIG), is simply called Update. Via the Panda Administrator, you download upgrades and updates from the Internet to the administrator computer and then push these to your network systems.

Panda Software Global Virus Insurance
Panda Administrator lets you install Global Virus Insurance from a single server.

Of course, nothing is perfect, and there is a downside to using Global Virus Insurance — after installation, servers must be rebooted, including those for Exchange and Windows 2000. In a production environment, this isn’t always possible. Still, looking beyond this, Global Virus Insurance is a powerful, comprehensive and flexible antivirus solution for the corporate network.

About the Author

Barry Shilmover, MCSE+I, MCT, owns Shilmover Consulting Services, a Microsoft Solution Provider specializing in Windows NT/2000 and Exchange 5.5/2000 solutions. He has co-authored books that include Windows 2000 System Administrator’s Black Book and Exchange 5.5 Exam Cram, both from Coriolis Press.

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