RealTime IT News

Enterprise Tool to Enable Proactive Virus Updates

For the past 12 years, Sophos, Inc. says it has shipped a new version of its Sophos Anti-Virus product to customers the first week of every month, so it's not exactly a big deal when the company comes out with a new release.

But a new tool due out no later than April is nonetheless noteworthy because it addresses one element that makes an anti-virus product truly effective: timeliness. Sophos will introduce a new product, Enterprise Manager, that enables enterprises to let Sophos proactively ship antivirus signature updates to their local servers. From there, administrators can decide which updates to ship out when, or automate the entire process, enabling the updates to immediately be sent to users' desktops.

With Enterprise Manager, Sophos "will take responsibility to ensure that what customers have is the correct set of updates to protect them today," says Richard Jacobs, Sophos technical director.

Jacobs noted that viruses tend to follow daylight around the globe. The LoveBug virus, for example, started in the Far East and continually spread east as the business day dawned in different time zones. That means it's important to be able to update antivirus definitions even in the middle of the night, so they are in place when the working day starts.

Sophos will also soon be adding a threat reduction feature that enables administrators to prevent certain users or groups from sending or receiving certain file types, and flags files with more than one file type extension, Jacobs says. Such features are standard fare in content filtering tools and firewalls, but not antivirus products.