Symantec product protects net gateway
Symantec's Norton Antivirus for Internet E-mail Gateways is a hot new product designed to stop viruses and dangerous macros from entering a network via e-mail. Stopping virulent e-mail at the gateway level is a pressing issue at many IS sites these days, and this package goes a long way in protecting the corporate LAN.
The software, running as an installed service on Windows NT, works in unison with any standard SMTP mail server. Norton Antivirus for Internet E-mail Gateways acts as an extension to your current mail systems by serving as the primary e-mail gateway for your network. It subsequently passes safe messages on to your normal SMTP servers for end-user delivery.
I installed Norton Antivirus for Internet E-mail Gateways on a machine running Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and found the installation process very straightforward, although I did need to do some advance preparation for the installation. You need to know the directory where the software will be installed, and other details including the IP addresses used inside your network, the IP address and port number of your SMTP mail server, and the IP addresses for those who will manage Norton Antivirus for Internet E-mail Gateways.
Once the initial installation is complete, you can connect to the software's user interface via a Web browser to allow you to view and adjust scanning policies.
On Windows NT 4.0, the installation process creates a shortcut on the desktop that makes connecting to the user interface a breeze. There are no special URLs to remember, just double-click on the icon and enter your password when prompted.
The Web-based user interface allows network managers to configure all aspects of the software, excluding the NT service itself. The configuration capabilities for both inbound and outbound mail handling is very thorough.
The software gives you control over a number of options, including nested file scanning, holdover of infected or rejected messages for review, and automatic repair or rejection of infected files.
You can set up Norton Antivirus for Internet E-mail Gateways to quarantine infected or refused files according to predefined policies. Once files are tagged, the software puts them in a restricted directory. Also, network managers can specify the delivery of an alert message to a single user, or group of users, when an infected file is detected.
I was impressed with the log capability within Norton Antivirus for Internet E-mail Gateways. It keeps a nice activity log that I could review via a Web-browser. You can also configure the activity log to record scan events, server events, configuration events, and errors.
Browsing the log information is as simple as clicking the activity log icon. Users can refine the log display by specifying a data range and log type.
Another handy feature is the Internet virus-signature update. Network managers seeking a virus-signature update can simply click on the live update button. This starts an automatic FTP session with Symantec's site. The whole process of updating took one minute, 28 seconds on my system, using a 128Kbit/sec ISDN connection.
Keeping the virus-signature database up-to-date is important because outdated virus signature files won't detect newer virus strains.
I did run into a little trouble stopping a virus-signature update that was in progress, but that's a small flaw considering the overall value of the product.
The Bottom Line -- Norton Antivirus for Internet E-mail GatewaysThis package is a robust, automated Internet e-mail virus scanner, suitable for any site.
Pros: Easy installation and configuration; Web-based management interface; automatic virus-pattern updates; capability to block Java applications.
Cons: Difficult to easily interrupt virus- signature downloads.
Price: $25 for media pack which includes relevant manuals and setup instructions then $499 for as many as 99 users, $999 for 100 to 249 users, $1999 for 250 to 499 users, $3999 for 500 to 999 users and $7999 for more than 1000 users. All prices are per SMTP gateway.
Platforms: Windows NT 3.51, 4.0.
Category: Applications Software
Tel (02) 9850 1000
Fax (02) 9850 1001