Bit Defender to Fight SMB Security Threats in U.S

Monday Oct 18th 2004 by Lauren Simonds
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Installed in over 41 million computers around the world, Bit Defender now offers its software in the U.S. What's in it for us?

Bit Defender, a Romanian-based software company that has recently opened an office in Boca Raton, Florida, today announced BitDefender 8 Professional and BitDefender 8 Standard Edition — programs the company says offer SMBs powerful protection against viruses, spyware, Trojans, spam, worms and other similar Internet threats.

The eight-year-old company has a large customer base around the world, but this is its first venture in the U.S. market. Bit Defender is targeting SMBs with 15 PCs or more and plans to sell product through ISPs and the retail channel, but not in retail.

Shared Product Features
The Standard Edition offers PCs anti-virus protection while the Professional Edition also includes firewall protection and an anti-spam component. In addition to being able to scan, disinfect and quarantine files, both programs provide what the company calls an Active Registry Monitor, which is intended to keep spyware from launching and installing automatically from within a PC's registry when you restart the computer.

"The software runs in real time and intercepts all attempts to change the registry keys," said Guy Eisdorfer, Bit Defender's CTO. "It then alerts you so that you can decide to allow the changes or not."

The company also designed Bit Defender to work with any POP3 e-mail client, in order to block infected e-mail and also to protect against peer-2-peer threats like viruses that spread via instant messaging and file sharing applications.

Anti-Spam
According to the company, Bit Defender 8 Professional Edition's anti-spam capability integrates with Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express software and lets you access Bit Defender directly form Outlook's toolbar.

Eisdorfer said that Bit Defender Professional's different filters cover a range of spam detection.

Self-learning filter: Initially you determine what is or is not spam by clicking on e-mail. The software "learns" what you consider spam and, according to the company, the filter's accuracy improves over time.

Heuristic filter: This fiter is designed to test the multiple components of an e-mail (in HTML or text format) in order to find characteristics of spam.

URL and Charset filters: The URL filter is designed to keep messages that contain illegitimate links out of your mail box while the charset filter is meant to check e-mail for the unusual characters that most spam contains.

Firewall
Also found in the Professional Edition, the Bit Defender firewall was built to protect you (and your data) from Internet threats by filtering the incoming and out going Internet traffic on your PC(s).

Eisdorfer said the software includes dialing control that prevents nasty viruses from hijacking your modem and running up expensive phone bills. Take note: while your SMB may have a broadband connection, Eisdorfer points out that many SMBs still use their fax modems, which a dialer could gain control over.


Bit Defender 8 Professional Edition
You configure the virus shield, anti-spam and firewall components through Bit Defender 8 Professional Edition's main control screen.

The software's active content control feature is mean to proactively block applications that are prone to abuse by virus writers: Active X, Java Applets and java Scripts.

Pricing and Availability
Eisdorfer said that Bit Defender is building its reseller channel and that you can currently purchase the product at places such as PCMall, Virtual Software, and L4Networks. You can also buy it at the Bit Defender Web site.

If you have 25 or 30 or more computers that you want protected by Bit Defender's anti-virus capability, the company recommends that you also purchase Bit Defender's Enterprise Manager software.

The extra software lets an administrator use one PC to install, configure and update Bit Defender on the other computers.

Bit Defender offers volume discount pricing — that includes Enterprise Manager software — on both the Standard and Professional editions.

Individual Pricing
• Bit Defender 8 Standard Edition — $29.95
• Bit Defender 8 Professional Edition — $44.95

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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