Sonicwall Pro 5060
Strengths: Blocks spyware at the gateway; stops existing spyware from communicating.
Weaknesses: No client protection.
Verdict: If you already have Sonicwall products, the anti-spyware is a good addition to your first line of security. But there is no client protection.
Part of Sonicwall’s firewall line, this 1U rack mountable appliance features six Gigabit Ethernet ports and an Intel Xeon processor. Its primary function is as a stateful inspection firewall, protecting your network based on rules you give it. But it has a range of optional security services including AV and IPS. We tested its anti-spyware capabilities. Sonicwall offers a free trial, so you can turn the service on through your MySonicwall account, accessible through the firewall’s web-based management.
Once you license the product, it is very easy to manage. Sonicwall splits spyware into three types — high, medium and low — and with each one you choose whether to monitor, block or both. There is also an over-ride setting for spyware protection and, if you have the time, you can modify each spyware signature manually.
Next, you choose the directions that you want to monitor spyware, such as between the LAN and WAN. Once your firewall policies are in place, though, it is easy to add spyware protection.The Pro 5060 monitors and blocks spyware delivered through the most common distribution form: auto-installed ActiveX components. The firewall did a good job, successfully blocking several attempts to automatically install spyware on our test PC.
The Pro 5060 also prevents existing spyware communicating with the outside world, which helps protect your network. By checking the logs, you can even use it to track down infected PCs and target them for repair.
As a gateway product, it is not much use at detecting spyware in some downloaded files, such as password-protected zips, cabs and executable, so you will still need desktop protection.
The Pro 5060 can communicate with Sonicwall’s desktop client and notify users when spyware has been blocked, but you might prefer to protect the network transparently.
The anti-spyware tool is a useful addition to Sonicwall’s arsenal and worth a free trial. While it adds another level of protection, it is important to marry it with desktop AV and anti-spyware software for wider protection.