Antivirus: ESET's NOD32 Antivirus 2.7

ESET's NOD32 Antivirus 2.7

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ANTIVIRUS


NOD32 Antivirus 2.7
REVIEWED BY MIKE CHAPPLE

ESET
Price: Starts at $39 per workstation for a one-year license

NOD32 Antivirus provides effective virus and spyware protection, albeit without many of the bells and whistles found in competing products. Our review supports ESET's claim that NOD32's lightweight design allows it to scan systems more efficiently than the competition. While it might appeal to administrators seeking to scratch out every last cycle of CPU performance, it's not a product for those seeking a highly integrated enterprise solution.


Configuration/Management B  
Client installation uses standard deployment techniques--push the package onto client systems, create a login script or distribute installation packages through traditional means. The central administration capabilities require installing the remote administration server, and the remote administration console on administrator systems. We used the wizard-guided installation processes to install all these packages without difficulty.

Policy Control C  
NOD32 allows administrators to apply policy to individual systems or groups of systems through the remote administrator feature. Policy control is quite granular: you can specify scan types and frequency, excluded files, etc. You can apply different policies on a group basis.

However, the policy control GUI is very awkward. To create or modify a policy, you must open a separate policy editor and then save the resulting policy as an XML file. You can then return to a separate window to apply the XML file to systems/groups.

NOD32's Remote Administrator package provides limited integration with Active Directory. You are able to synchronize NOD32's internal groups with an Active Directory server, but you can't manage NOD32 within the native AD environment. Additionally, you can only import machine information, not user information. This highlights one of the package's significant shortcomings: NOD32 does not allow you to create individual administrator accounts, so admins must use a shared server password--hardly a best security practice.


Effectiveness A-  
NOD32 delivers on its promise. It successfully detected the test viruses we placed on the evaluation system and alerted the administrator to their presence.

NOD32 met its efficiency claims. We ran it against a leading product in a head-to-head test on identical environments. Both packages detected our test viruses, but NOD32 completed its scans 16 percent faster.

An active monitor watches for file system changes, while the on-demand scanner performs full system scans. The Internet monitor scans HTTP and POP3 traffic. While NOD32 does not support scanning of IMAP connections, an add-on supports Microsoft Exchange. Another module scans Microsoft Office documents.

NOD32 doesn't include a centrally managed host firewall service or a host-based IPS. These shortcomings may limit the product's viability for some organizations.


Reporting A  
NOD32's smorgasbord of reports will please even the pickiest data hound. Predefined templates include reports on top viruses, top clients with most alerts and alerts by module, among others. Administrators can filter reports based upon specific clients, servers or viruses and the HTML-based reports can be exported to a .csv file for use in other analysis packages.


Verdict
NOD32 is an efficient, effective antivirus solution with decent central administration tools. However, it lacks strong enterprise-level features.


Testing methodology: We tested NOD32 in a Windows XP virtual machine environment with separate machines serving as the client and administrator. We performed the competitor comparison on an identically configured virtual machine.

This was first published in July 2007
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