Extending the Protected Network Wirelessly - Page 2

 By Vince Barnes
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Enforced Network Anti-Virus

The TZW can also serve as a part of a strong anti-virus defense. SonicWall has a zero administration Network Anti-Virus solution that it developed in partnership with McAfee (Network Associates). The solution employs advanced heuristic technologies and automatic alerts, and is backed up by McAfee's Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team (AVERT).

SonicWall Network Anti-virus is a subscription service that utilizes an anti-virus agent running in its Internet Security Appliance family, including the SOHO TZW. The agent transparently monitors virus definition files and triggers downloads and installations for each computer connected to the network.

The security appliance, in this case the SOHO TZW, enforces a policy that ensures that every PC to be granted access is actively running the most up-to-date anti-virus software, ensuring that the network remains protected from rogue users and new viruses.

The mechanism works by communicating between the McAfee Anti-Virus agents on the workstation computer and in the security appliance whenever the computer attempts to send traffic through the SonicWall. The SonicWall agent sends a request for the VirusScan version. If it gets no response, access is denied. It it gets a response with an out-of-date version, it triggers a transparent auto-update.

The subscription service also provides alerts to network administrators when new fast-moving viruses are discovered, providing as much information as possible for immediate defensive action, and providing automated anti-virus protection updates as soon as they are available.

The SonicWall Network Anti-Virus system can also efficiently allocate anti-virus licenses across distributed networks that have multiple Internet Security Appliances. A significant cost benefit can be derived from such efficiencies as needs in the network change.

Virus outbreaks are very expensive. The cost of removal alone is sufficient to warrant a paid subscription service, even without consideration of the potentially staggering costs associated with lost productivity and lost confidence.

Centralized enforcement of an anti-virus policy is a powerful tool to use in the protection of the corporate network. This could never be more true than when wireless connectivity is added to the mix, and especially if the courtesy of guest access to the Internet is to be extended.

Overall, SonicWall's SOHO TZW offers an affordable and efficient means for extending security – and network access – beyond the confines of an enterprise's local network.

Feature courtesy of Enterprise IT Planet.

» See All Articles by Columnist Vince Barnes

This article was originally published on Dec 8, 2003
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