Provide automatic virus protection for your servers

A virus infestation on a Windows NT server is a systems administrator's nightmare. One server can infect all the workstations on a network, and the cost of restoring the system is astronomical. Trend Micro's ServerProtect can help prevent such an infestation.

ServerProtect, a comprehensive virus detection and eradication tool for NT systems, uses a domain concept to manage servers. Each domain performs administrative functions (e.g., validates users) and contains one or more information servers that act as repositories for the software's configuration information.

The software uses a pattern file, which Trend Micro updates regularly, to detect viruses on your system. You can read the pattern file on the company's Web site and remain informed about the most recently discovered viruses. When you run a virus scan (manually or automatically), ServerProtect compares file information against the pattern file. If the software finds a match, you probably have a virus on your system.

Straightforward Installation
Although installing ServerProtect is straightforward, the process is more complicated than the process of competing NT-based antivirus software. After you answer the standard questions, you need to determine whether the installation will operate as a standard server or an information server. You also need to provide a domain name, choose the type of action to take (by default) if the system detects a virus, and provide the username and password that the ServerProtect service will run under.

ServerProtect is easy to use. You can manage your domain with ServerProtect's administration program while the background NT service checks for viruses. When you launch the administration program, as Screen 1 shows, you open a window that contains a list of domains and the servers they protect. You can lock and unlock domains (to prevent or permit configuration changes), add servers to domains, or move servers within domains.

To control how the software scans your servers, click Configure on the menu bar. You can schedule a manual scan, adjust your realtime scan parameters, adjust the automated scans on your system, manage the exceptions list, or set up notification rules in case the software detects a virus.

An Ounce of Prevention
ServerProtect helps you prevent virus infestations in several ways. The software can scan your NT servers' files automatically. ServerProtect scans the files you specify (you can restrict the types of files it scans) and performs one of several actions when it detects a virus. These actions include deleting the file, moving the file to another location, cleaning the virus from the infected file (if possible), leaving the file alone, or notifying the systems administrator (e.g., by email, printer, or pager). ServerProtect can also check the contents of other system areas (e.g., the Master Boot Record--MBR) and perform user-initiated scans on demand.

ServerProtect's realtime scanning feature verifies whether inbound or outbound data traversing the server's network links is virus-free. But using this feature might negatively affect your system's performance. When I used realtime scanning during my test, I saw a 10 percent performance drop on my installation. However, this drawback is minor, considering the thousands of dollars I would spend on reconstruction if a virus propagated a frequently accessed file on my network before my automated or manual scans could find it.

Unlike other products, ServerProtect doesn't limit you to initiating one automated scan of the entire system. You can program multiple scans so that you don't tax your servers. If you need to scan multiple servers for viruses, and you like the concept of centralized scanning management, take a closer look at ServerProtect.

Contact: Trend Micro * 408-257-1500 or 800-288-5651
Price: $600 for 25 users
System Requirements: Windows NT Server 3.51 or 4.0, 32MB of RAM, 5MB of hard disk space
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