Symantec Endpoint Protection
Strengths: A large number of security features, more can be added later
Weaknesses: Initial client installation can be tricky
Verdict: Good network protection which can be made better by using the network access control product
Symantec Endpoint Protection is a group of protection mechanisms bundled into one application, which includes Symantec Anti-Virus and the Network Access Control client.
The NAC client remains installed, but dormant, on the end-user's machine until it is activated. No redeployment of clients is needed to add it to a network where Symantec Endpoint Protection is installed. An update to the Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager activates those features on the clients.
The Symantec solution offers the following features: anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, intrusion prevention system, application control, device control, and proactive threat scanning. This feature set makes it one of the few offerings that crosses over categories of endpoint security and provides network security, and device control security.
As with most products, it covers only Microsoft clients, which are Windows 2000 and newer, but only the 32-bit versions are supported.
The setup of the server and console were quite easy, but the installation to push out the software to the clients was a little more complex. It took us some time to get the installation correct. For example, the client needs to have ports 139 and 445 open, and the manager needs administration credentials in order to install the software.
The documentation consisted of well-written PDFs, but the names of the components of this package are all so similar we often had to backtrack to determine which component was being covered.
Basic maintenance is included in the purchase price, which covers the first year of operation. Additional support packages are available and are labelled as essential support and business critical services. The essential support program is priced at c£1.38 per seat per year.
Symantec offers email and phone support, and a free extensive knowledge base.
The Symantec Endpoint Protection solution has a price tag of £25.90 per seat, which puts the it at the upper end of products offered in this group.