Trend Micro OfficeScan’s low memory requirement is perfect for budget-conscious IT shops that swap out old PCs every five years.
For many users, antivirus software has long defined their primary protection for the data stored on their computers. Unfortunately, users today have to contend with more than viruses and worms. Trojan horse programs and spyware pose a far greater risk to most systems today than the worst viruses unleashed on unsuspecting computer users. IT professionals increasingly find themselves on the front lines of combat against these threats.
The academic environment poses several unique challenges because of the variety of users being served every day. First, academics rely heavily on collaboration to verify the accuracy of their data and to share research results with their colleagues. Academic computing departments need products that protect against all types of malware equally. They also require protection for mobile devices as notebook computers replace desktops as the platform of choice.
This review will focus on Shelton State Community College’s deployment of Trend Micro’s OfficeScan.
Shelton State purchased OfficeScan because the college needed antivirus and malware protection. No user can tolerate the interruption caused by a virus or malware infection on his or her computer, particularly when a publishing deadline approaches. OfficeScan reduces the potential for downtime with its comprehensive encyclopedia of virus threats. As we replaced our former antivirus product with Trend Micro, we found several infected machines that had gone unnoticed even with constant updates to our former product. The college’s users appreciate OfficeScan’s protection more when it means less downtime and fewer interruptions.
Why It Works for IT
OfficeScan brought many benefits to our network environment, some immediately after the initial deployment. Like most colleges, Shelton State runs several computer labs. Because of budgetary constraints, we replace machines in these labs every five years. The OfficeScan client runs with a far smaller footprint than many of its competitors, making it ideal for these older machines. Users of recently purchased machines also appreciate OfficeScan’s small memory requirement, which reduces the startup time when they first boot their machines. The reduced memory usage also decreases the number of help-desk calls we receive from users about slow or unresponsive machines.
OfficeScan offers many other benefits to the IT staff. The software provides centralized management that eases the initial deployment of the client software. OfficeScan’s management console offers a thorough overview of the existing environment. The IT staff can quickly determine the number of clients online, if any clients require an update and if any outbreaks are threatening our users. We find this particularly helpful when word of a new threat spreads across the Internet, such as a zero-day vulnerability.
Although most users are oblivious to these security events, there will always be a few who will call us and ask if we’re aware of the latest bug. Trend Micro has an e-mail service that notifies OfficeScan administrators of any zero-day threats, usually beating even the most attentive computer user to the punch. Because the management console also displays any current outbreaks on the network, we know instantly if any viruses have broken loose among our users.
Thus far, OfficeScan has remained mostly problem-free. We experienced the usual (and expected) training issues as we adjusted to the new management console and installation procedures. Our biggest issue was with off-campus computers. Because OfficeScan lacks a standalone installer, we were forced to bring some of our off-campus computers to campus and log on to the network to install OfficeScan. We found we could install the software on any computer using a virtual private network and connect to the network fairly easily.