How Sweet Is Eset's New Security Suite?By Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2007-11-19 Email Print
Channel Labs takes a look at ESET Smart Security v3.0, a well-rounded and reliable security product for both users and channel players.
Since 1992, San Diego-based Eset LLC has been one of the silent warriors behind the scenes in the war on viruses and malware. It has been mostly silent because the company lacks the name recognition that competitors such as Symantec/Norton, Panda and Trend Micro enjoy.
While the name Eset doesn't roll off the tongue when one thinks about viruses and malware, that has no effect on the company's ability to offer leading edge security solutions that are in many cases superior to the big names on the market. Eset's technologies are proven and are often integrated under OEM agreements into many security vendors' products, while the company's NOD32 antivirus product is starting to become a favorite in many circles.
Eset realized early on that innovation and protection are the key elements of success when it comes to anti-virus software. That theme persists with the Oct. 31 launch of Eset's latest product, ESS (Eset Smart Security), a desktop suite that offers anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam and firewall features in a single, easy-to-deploy and manage package.
ESS is designed to protect consumer and SMB desktop computers from the all too common security threats found today. What's more, the product incorporates Eset's proprietary heuristic ThreatSense detection system, which readily handles those not-too-common and zero-day threats of the future.
Eset took a different approach to building a security suite, while many software companies build their suites by combining their existing tools, Eset designed ESS from the ground up as a single product. That innovation in development allowed the company to offer a fully integrated security suite that is both fast and comprehensive.
The first benefit is that data traffic does not have to pass through several independent malware detection engines, all malware scanning takes place using a single engine, making for impressive performance results. Also, updates consist of a single signature file, instead of multiple separate files that have to be integrated.
The product's performance was impressive: a complete system scan took only 2 minutes, 13 seconds to go through 37,002 identified objects making it one of the fastest suites evaluated to date. What's more, the product seemed to introduce almost no overhead on the test virtual machine. That system scored an average PassMark score of 370.2 after three tests before installation of Eset's product. After installation and configuration of the security suite, the average PassMark score dipped to 365.5, a negligible drop.
For comparison, Panda's Internet Security 2008 was put through the same paces. That product scored an average PassMark score of 365.7 and took 3 minutes and 15 seconds to perform a complete system scan.
For testing, ESS was installed on a Virtual PC created by Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 and hosted on a Lenovo T61p Thinkpad. That Virtual PC ran Windows XP SP2 and had 512MB of RAM dedicated to it. The installation of ESS is very straight forward, but installers will need to register the product to get a password update before commencing the installation. Eset should find a way to make registration and password generation part of the installation process, perhaps the first guided step, instead of a separate task.
During installation, users have the option of protecting the program settings and installation options with a configuration password that can prevent unauthorized tampering with the product. That option should be used with care because administrators can inadvertently lock themselves out of future changes if the password is lost.
How Sweet Is Eset's New Security Suite? Perhaps a better way to protect the program would be to require a Windows Administrator account (available in both XP and Vista) to effect any changes down the road that would enable remote administrators to control the product while keeping typical users out.
Perhaps a better way to protect the program would be to require a Windows Administrator account (available in both XP and Vista) to effect any changes down the road that would enable remote administrators to control the product while keeping typical users out.