Eset Offers Proactive Virus Scanning

By Lauren Simonds | Posted September 29, 2004

Eset, a San Diego, Calif.-based software Company recently announced a new version of its anti-virus software called NOD32. The big difference between this particular software and applications from companies such as Symantec and McAfee lies in how the program finds viruses and other threats.

Anti-virus software from McAfee and Symantec use signature-based scanning, which means that the software tracks down security threats by scanning files for certain known patterns called virus signatures. Eset's NOD32 combines signature-based scanning with a different method of virus detection called heuristics — or behavioral-based scanning.

Eset claims heuristics is a proactive rather than a passive way to detect viruses. While heuristics is the focus, NOD32 also includes signature-based scanning capability to provide even greater virus protection.

Signature-Based vs. Behavior-Based
Signature-based anti-virus software examines files and looks for certain sequences of code instructions that match known patterns of malicious code. The individual signature must already exist, which means that the virus must be known in order for the software to detect it.

Behavior-based software sends out a set of instructions that mimics a PC environment — if a file tries to execute or reacts like a virus, Trojan or worm, the software locks down the file and doesn't let it gain access to your PC or network. "The advantage here," says Dr. Anton Zajac, president and CEO of Eset, "is that the behavioral-based scanning prevents viruses that haven't yet been identified from attacking your systems. By itself, signature scanning is too slow. You need the signature first before you can protect against the threat."

Small Business Benefits
According to Zajac, the software installs easily without requiring the talents of an IT staff. "A server installation typically takes five minutes," he says. "You'll also reduce your downtime because you'll no longer have to clean viruses off your computers and networks."

One issue with anti-virus programs is the amount of system resources they use while running in the background. "NOD32 runs two-to-50 times faster than other anti-virus programs," says Zajac. "It takes up fewer system resources and lets other applications run faster. NOD32 won't slow down your system."

New Features
The current release adds four improvements.

  1. Advanced heuristics in several scanning modules. The software finds threats hidden in executable files.
  2. Supports the HTTP protocol. Finds and blocks browser-based URLs that link to infected files
  3. Document Monitor (DMON). MS Office is the most commonly used software application. NOD32 blocks threats that are imbedded in MS Office application files.
  4. Detects potentially dangerous applications such as key loggers, spyware and adware

Eset NOD#@ anti-virus software
Eset's NOD32 anti-virus software can protect your PC against unknown viruses.

Pricing and Availability
NOD32 is available now, and you can purchase it online or through resellers.

Pricing
• Home User — $39 for one year; renewal license — $27.30
• Five seats — $170 for one year
• 10 seats — $396 for one year; $593 for two
• 50 seats — $1,221 for one year; $1,831 for two
• 100 seats — $2,069 for one year; $3,104 for two

Pricing Includes
Software license, virus database updates, program upgrades and technical support (phone and e-mail). Also includes protection for workstations, file servers and an unlimited number of NOD32 Remote Administrator consoles.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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