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A Publication Featuring The Information Services Technology of Maine State Government
|Volume VI, Issue 11||November 2003|
By Robert Witham
Traditionally, antivirus software installation and deployment has been on a machine-by-machine basis. If I wanted to install my antivirus software on 10 workstations and four servers, I would have to visit 14 machines. This isn’t too bad, but when you have 100 or 1,000 or more machines, it can be a bit time consuming to initially install the software. Moreover, you need to visit each machine again if you ever want to change any of the scan settings or if you want to update the software to a new version.
This is where McAfee Software’s ePO (Enterprise Policy Orchestrator) product comes into play. ePO allows control and management of antivirus software on thousands of individual machines across an enterprise. If it is necessary to change any scan settings like scanning all files with an extension type of .xyz, a simple change under ePO will distribute that change to all managed machines within minutes. A task that used to be performed manually, and could take days, now only takes a few minutes.
Similarly, when BIS decided to upgrade all SLA (service level agreement) customer machines from version 4.5.1 of McAfee antivirus to the newer version 7.0, one change under ePO caused the change to happen on almost all of the 1,300 SLA computers within 24 hours. The few that were missed were because those computers were not turned on. As soon as those last few computers were powered up again, they had the new software in less than an hour after connecting to the network.
ePO also gives us centralized reporting capabilities. We can see how many machines are protected by antivirus software, if their data files are up to date, and if any viruses have been detected. By knowing how well we are doing, and knowing what percentage of our computers are up to date, we can make an informed risk assessment when new vulnerabilities or new viruses are detected. ePO provides us with an additional tool to help manage the security of our network.
BIS provides ePO to all agencies as part of the basic WAN rate. Agencies who are currently not taking advantage of ePO are not getting everything they are paying for. Even if agencies only use ePO to report on the status of their computers and servers, it is well worth the minimal effort they need to invest in it.
If you would like to use ePO within your agency, contact Bob Witham at BIS through the State Outlook e-mail system.