• United States
Director, Network World Test Alliance

Best Products: Client security

Feb 27, 20063 mins
Endpoint ProtectionMalwareMcAfee

Winning company: McAfee

Winning product: Secure Web Gateway

Last year we put a magnifying glass to products aimed at protecting client-side connections across the enterprise. That effort seemed to strike a chord, as two of our most-talked-about tests were those that honed in on anti-spyware products, as well as endpoint security and policy enforcement wares.

Because spyware and other malicious software are so potentially damaging to a company, we are glad to award the Best of the Tests honor to McAfee and its Secure Web Gateway. In our anti-spyware test of 18 products, the McAfee Secure Content Management Appliance (Secure Web Gateway) impressed Lab Alliance member Barry Nance for thwarting the most spyware attempts, as well as for its intuitive user interface and simple installation. The system uses a malware detection scheme plus signatures to block spyware proactively, and it updates daily with new protections.

Client security finalists  

Additionally, we felt the appliance approach to fighting spyware gives Secure Web Gateway the edge over software-based systems. “Stopping spyware via gateways at each Internet connection point is clearly superior to cleaning it from individual server and desktop computers,” Nance wrote. He further noted that a “gateway is easier to administer, users can’t fool with it, and desktop machines and servers don’t have to shoulder the extra burden of detecting and removing spyware. As long as a gateway filters every single crumb of spyware and users do not bring freeware or shareware software into the office, the gateway approach is an ideal anti-spyware solution.”

McAfee has not updated the Secure Web Gateway since our testing, but has announced other client security-related products. In late 2005, the company announced it will provide VirusScan and McAfee Personal Firewall Plus to subscribers of MSN Dial-Up (McAfee already provides services to MSN Premium subscribers). VirusScan detects, blocks and removes spyware – as well as virus, worms, Trojans and auto-dialers, the company says.

In January, McAfee President Gene Hodges resigned, leaving the company to become CEO of WebSense.

PRODUCT MASTERMIND:, senior product marketing manager

Mihir Mohanty

Job duties: Plans McAfee’s Web security products strategy.

Favorite features: “The layered approach to attacking spyware — the McAfee Secure Web Gateway stops spyware at the corporate gateway before it gets to the desktop. But if spyware does happen to make its way to the desktop via other network connections, McAfee offers a desktop spyware product to stop it there.”

USER TAKE: IT director, Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre, in Toronto

Oliver Tsai,

Deployment: Sunnybrook & Women’s is in the process of expanding its use of Secure Web Gateway, which it has relied on for more than four years.

Favorite feature: “The effectiveness — we have had practically zero virus incidents since the implementation, and spam is limited to a mere handful each day.”

Business benefits: “The most significant benefit of [Secure Web Gateway] has been protecting our employees’ productivity from unnecessary downtime and meaningless information from viruses and spam.”

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