Sophos unveils new reporting tool

A new software tool from antivirus vendor Sophos PLC will boost the reporting capabilities of that company's management software suite.

Sophos EM Reporter is a new module in the Sophos Enterprise Manager suite that enables customers to aggregate virus alert information in customized reports.

The tool provides a way to display information on incidents and virus alerts graphically, integrating with Crystal Decisions Inc.'s Crystal Reports software, according to Chris Belthoff, senior security analyst at Sophos.

While not as fully featured as competing products such as Network Associates Inc.'s ePolicy Orchestrator, EM Reporter is designed to be easy to use and implement, he said.

"A lot of other management tools are so difficult and require so many weeks of training to use, that they end up being expensive shelfware," Belthoff said.

"We didn't want to create a monster of a product that's hard to implement. EM Reporter gives administrators the capability that they're looking for quickly and easily," he said.

EM Reporter uses data sent by Sophos antivirus engines running as clients on corporate desktops and relies on a company's existing SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) infrastructure to send alert information.

For example, administrators could use the tool to see which of their systems were targeted by a virus such as Bugbear, or indicate if there are systems that are more targeted than others, Belthoff said.

EM Reporter is available as a free upgrade for existing Sophos Enterprise Manager suite and will be sold to new customers as a standard part of the Enterprise Manager product, Belthoff said.

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