The latest antivirus software release from Computer Associates International (CA) offers streamlined pricing, a new Web-based administrative interface and a feature to speed signature updates for mobile devices, the company said Monday.
From a feature standpoint, eTrust Antivirus v7 offers modest changes over the company's previous release, eTrust v6.
A new technology called "Roam About" enables eTrust to automatically reconfigure itself, obtaining virus signature updates from the fastest available download servers. For example, a mobile worker from the U.S. who logs on during a business trip to the U.K. might retrieve updated signatures from a server in the U.K. or France as opposed to a U.S.- based server, according to Ian Hameroff, eTrust security strategist at CA.
ETrust v7 also comes with a new Web-based administrative interface that enables network administrators to access the product from the Internet or over a VPN (virtual private network) connection.
"We found that the Web interface was particularly useful during a (virus) outbreak. An administrator can use VPN to access the eTrust interface and make sure that signature updates are happening or initiate a virus block on desktops that ... prevents (virus) program execution," Hameroff said.
Several new platforms are also supported, including additional Linux distributions and PDAs (personal digital assistants) using the Microsoft Pocket PC platform. Previously, only the Palm operating system was supported, according to Hameroff.
ETrust v7 also contains new administrative features for managing mail servers such as Microsoft Exchange and IBM's Lotus Notes, Hameroff said.
The bigger news, however, may be in how eTrust v7 is being packaged, rather than what's under the hood. With v7, CA has rolled the gateway, server, desktop and portable versions of its product into a single offering.
To complement that change, CA also switched to a flat pricing model that offers customers the gateway, server, desktop or portable versions of its antivirus product, in addition to signature updates and one year of technical support for US$35 with volume discounting available. After the first year, continued maintenance is available at 40 percent of the list price of eTrust v7, Hameroff said.
Previously, CA offered different flavors of eTrust Antivirus and different pricing, depending on where the eTrust software was being deployed.
The changes are designed to make it easier for companies to deploy antivirus technology by lowering the total cost for that technology, Hameroff said. Many antivirus companies hide costs in add-ons such as antivirus subscriptions and maintenance contracts, making smaller companies choose between "price and protection," Hameroff said.
In a move to win over those who use its competitors' products, CA is also offering a free copy of eTrust Antivirus v7 and two years of maintenance for the price of one to customers who switch to eTrust from any competing antivirus technology, Hameroff said.