By Mark Cox
Security software vendor ESET, which sells exclusively through channel partners, has launched a revamped version of its business security suite. The newly redesigned and reengineered solutions are available now in North America, although not yet elsewhere globally.
“This is a new suite of business endpoint protection solutions,” said Darren Stordahl, ESET North America’s VP of Marketing. “Our new product line is a fairly comprehensive re-engineering of how our products can be deployed and managed.”
Stordahl said the changes involve both ones to the interface that customers and partners will see immediately, and back-end engineering changes which they will not.
“As a technology company, we are proud of our back-end engineering and we did a lot of work to bring it to its current state, but the interface is the most noticeable change because it’s what the users experience,” he added.
The redesign followed two years of interviewing partners and customers on use cases, what they used and what they didn’t.
“The philosophical driver with this release is that if technology isn’t easy to use, it’s not as secure, because we want users to use technology as it was designed to be used, not in the way they find easiest to use,” Stordahl said.
The feedback led to ESET Remote Administrator being completely redesigned. It is a platform-independent remote management console that lets IT managers use a web-based dashboard to deploy new software, and monitor and mitigate security risks, while satisfying reporting and audit requirements.
“We found that in those two years, the previous version of Remote Administrator was very customizable, but that only a portion of it was being used,” said Don Lewis, ESET North America’s Product Marketing Manager, Business Security.
As a result, ESET Remote Administrator, version 6, features major interface improvements to speed access to key functionalities.
“The goal was to make things quickly accessible, hence the actionable dashboard,” Lewis said. “We also changed Remote Administrator’s architecture, not just the interface. We introduced agents to make things work quicker. This will reduce partner help calls as well and reduce remote work, if it’s something that can be handled by IT automation.”
Remote Administrator’s reporting has also been improved and made more flexible, so it could be used more efficiently. Mobile protection without need for additional MDM tools has also been added.
“Mobile is increasingly important so mobile products have been upgraded as part of this release,” Lewis said.
The ESET endpoint offerings are Endpoint Security for Windows, ESET Endpoint Antivirus for Windows, ESET Endpoint Security for OS X, ESET Endpoint Antivirus for OS X, and ESET Endpoint Security for Android. The big change here from a lineup perspective is the additional OS X offering, which reflects greater emphasis given to Macs in this version.
“Mac protection is now on par with Windows from a feature perspective, so now we have two Mac products, not one,” Lewis said.
All the endpoint solutions benefit from the changes to Remote Administrator, and from enhanced protection technologies, including improved Anti-Phishing, Exploit Blocker, Vulnerability Shield and Advanced Memory Scanner. These improvements first appeared in the enhancements to ESET’s consumer line two months ago, and are appearing now in their commercial products.
“We have included specialized cleaners in this release,” Stordahl said. “We have bundled standard malware cleaners in, so they are easier for IT admins to use. This will improve the removal of unwanted applications, while continuing to have a very light footprint.”
“The specialized cleaners had been available before as a download, but are now built in, which means you don’t need third party tools,” Lewis said. “This will also reduce help calls to the partners.
“We have also made optimizations for the virtual environment, with a shared cache feature added that consolidates the malware scanning on each physical host, to eliminate AV storms when they all scan at once,” Lewis added. This is applicable for everything but Android.
New functionality has been added to ESET Endpoint Security for Android, including improved management of MDM commands and whitelist control. And another offering, the ESET File Security for Microsoft Windows Server solution, adds native clustering support.
Major changes have also been made to ESET’s license management.
“With this release, a big part of what we are trying to do is provide a very competitive option for enterprise as well as SMB,” Stordahl said. “That involves managing licenses more efficiently than we have been able to do in the past.”
“A whole new web-based licensing portal, ESET License Administrator, has been stood up.” Lewis said “It gives real time status and usage, so it is easier to deactivate and reallocate licenses between endpoints. That that had been a concern before, handling licensing in migration phases.”
The new offerings are available now, but only in North America.
“We’ve done a lot to provide a better service to our partners,” Stordahl said. “They emphasized the importance of getting product early and information early so they could get up to speed, and weren’t reacting, so for North America, we got it out as soon as it was technically ready. We did everything we could to give our partners a leg up. It will be available in the rest of the world in Q1.”