MicroWorld’s Anti-Virus Solutions for Small Businesses

All of the major vendors provide desktop and server anti-virus antidotes — this list includes McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro, CA and Sophos — as well as MicroWorld Technologies.

MicroWorld is a lesser-known anti-virus vendor, but its virus thwarting solutions are worth taking a look at. MicroWorld has offices in the U.S. and India. It sells its anti-virus solutions through a network of more than 12,000 channel partners and resellers worldwide.

Headed by a young dynamic entrepreneur Govind Rammurthy, a respected name in the security industry, MicroWorld has been actively contributing to the security industry for past nine years. The company has established itself as a leading provider of content security, anti-virus and corporate communications software solutions.

MicroWorld’s primary goal is to add confidence to computing by developing innovative solutions for large and small businesses, as well as individual users. Working toward this goal, the company has developed its own anti-virus solutions dubbed eScan and MailScan.

eScan is an enterprise-wide anti-virus solution that scans local and network drives for viruses and cleans them on real-time basis. The program uses proprietary technology invented by MicroWorld programmers. MicroWorld WinSock Layer (MWL) employs a revolutionary concept — it scans Internet traffic on real-time basis. Consequently, MWL analyzes Internet traffic and potential threats before they reach a PC. Some other solutions available on the market today only deal with the security threat after it has infected a PC.

MailScan is a content Security program that operates on e-mail servers. It scans e-mails, attachments and Web pages on a real-time basis. It also uses MicroWorld’s WinSock layer technology.

Which anti-virus solution suits your needs depends on the size of your business. Home office users or small offices should take a look at implementing the eScan Internet Security Suite. eScan 2003 ISSis a complete security solution that provides essential protection against viruses, objectionable content, hackers and privacy threats.

eScan 2003 ISS provides real-time virus scanning for desktop computers and notebooks, it is capable of scanning e-mail traffic sent via simple mail transfer protocols (SMTP), post office protocols (POP3), and hyper text transfer protocols (HTTP) in real-time. The suite also features parental control functions, pop-up ad filters, privacy controls and a NetBIOS Firewall. Short for Network Basic Input Output System, this is an application program interface that augments the DOS BIOS by adding special functions for local area networks (LANs). Almost all LANs for PCs are based on NetBIOS.

eScan 2003 ISS works on all current Windows platforms, including Windows 95/98/2000/NT/ME/XP Home and XP Pro. For Windows 95/98, system requirements include a Pentium processor, 64 MB of physical RAM and 100 MB of free hard drive disk space. For Windows ME/NT/2000 and XP, a Pentium II processor or higher is recommended, along with 128 MB of physical RAM and 100 MB of free hard drive disk space.

EScan ISS is available as a download only. Prices vary based on the number of users (from one to 50) and licensing is available in one, two and three year terms of service. Pricing for one user for one year starts at $58.95 and includes free telephone support around-the-clock.

MailScan is for small businesses that need a way to thwart viruses at the point of their e-mail server. Presumably, these small businesses that have IT staff capable of implementing and managing an anti-virus application at the e-mail gateway to their networks.

MicroWorld’s MailScan products cover more than 20 different types of e-mail servers, including Microsoft Exchange, CommuniGate Pro and MailScan, just to name a few. MailScan works at the TCP/IP port level, so it does not require an additional device to act like a gateway.

Working in real-time, MailScan technology looks at data traffic that is coming into a network and scans it for security violations. All incoming and outgoing messages are scanned for abusive words and/or phrases, which are pre-defined by the security policy administrator of MailScan. If such words are found, warning messages can optionally be sent to the administrator, the sender and the recipient.

Virus infected attachments are disinfected and sent to their destination. Non-removable virus infected attachments are either deleted or quarantined. If MailScan detects a Word or Excel attachment that contains an infected macro, it removes the virus from the attachment. Clean Macros are not removed from the document.

Global content-control policies (pre-defined words and phrases) are dynamically updated from the Internet at regular intervals, along with regular daily anti-virus updates. Whenever MailScan automatically downloads updates, the administrator is informed by e-mail about the time and date of update, number of files downloaded and also a list of viruses that the update cleans.

MailScan’s heuristics scanning capabilities ensures that 90 percent of unknown viruses are automatically detected, much before the world even gets to know about these viruses. Every action of MailScan is properly logged. The administrator can control the size of log files and create backups of old log files.

MailScan requires Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP and ME with 64 MB RAM and 50 MB of free hard disk space. Product pricing is only available for licensing through downloads from the company’s website, based on quantities ranging from one to 2,500 units, and the length of the licensing term. For example, a one-year term for five mailboxes costs about $44 each and a two-year term for the same costs about $62 per mailbox. After the initial term of purchase, the term can be extended for another year by paying 45 percent of the software cost.

Experts agree that businesses of all shapes and sizes should employ a multi-vendor, multi-layered approach to building their anti-virus defense systems. As a result, more and more small businesses are committing resources to anti-virus protection of their networks and desktop computers. Knowing what options there are for building a line of anti-virus defense is a great place to start.

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