It sounds easy in principle, but the larger the network the more challenging policy management becomes, which is where a product like McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator comes in handy. The third version of the policy management program introduced this week is designed to help businesses achieve quick policy updates, across networks large or small.
McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator is highly scaleable, capable of making policy changes over 250,000 nodes per server. Of course, smaller businesses will be pleased to know that the program also makes immediate policy changes and administration simple for a network consisting of as few as 25 nodes.
Network Associates, McAfee's parent company, says that more than 20 million systems are currently being managed by ePolicy Orchestrator, making the console a leading security policy enforcement among businesses large and small.
As one of the first policy management consoles to provide the manageability of multiple vendor anti-virus technology, ePolicy Orchestrator now extends beyond this functionality to provide integration with additional third-party security systems, such as anti-virus applications from Symantec.
Alvin Mills, security manager at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, said he needed a solution that would ensure the highest levels of policy compliance across the network McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator got the job done.
"McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator provides us with robust centralized management functionalities and the ability to manage third-party vendor software to ensure that all systems on our network are fully compliant with our corporate security policies," Mills said.
For larger businesses, new features include Express Global Updating, which translates into the ability to update up to 50,000 systems in an hour or less with verification. McAfee uses SuperAgents to distribute the load of communication and deliver the update to a global network quickly and efficiently.
For smaller enterprises, McAfee built in a new Small Business Wizard, designed to facilitate the rapid deployment of malicious code protection in as few as five simple steps. This greatly improves the ability to respond to new and emerging security threats, such as the new "Fizzer" worm that is squirming its ways across the Web this week.
Because there is no requirement for detailed security or anti-virus knowledge, network administrators can quickly deploy protection and security policies, specifically designed for small businesses, to ensure strong levels of protection. Ongoing updates and policy enforcement begins automatically after the initial setup.
McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator 3.0 also offers improved usability and visibility network administrators can instantly glimpse an overview of security levels with one-page executive reports. Presented in a graphical format at the click of a button, administrators can view virus and attack hotspots, and quickly review their vulnerability and compliance levels.
For improved bandwidth management, McAfee added Mobile User Functionality, which allows users to resume temporarily interrupted updates or postpone an update until a time when network traffic won't impinge on business communications.
McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator 3.0 also provides flexible and comprehensive updating tactics enabling users to deploy all of their McAfee updates including engines, hot fixes, patches and service packs with a single tool. These updates can either be automatic or manual, according to the IT managers' specifications.
Chris Christiansen, vice president of Security Products and Infrastructure Software at the research firm IDC, said security policy tools are the cornerstone of maintaining system and network security posture.
"Policy enforcement that is easy-to-deploy and provides high levels of scalability is a necessity for companies today, from the largest corporation to small business enterprises," Christiansen said. "Technology that enables IT administrators to deploy updates across distributed networks in the shortest amount of time possible is critical for companies looking to reduce their vulnerability to malicious code and other Internet threat attacks."
Pricing and Specifications
Server and console system requirements include Windows NT 4.0 and higher, Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Enterprise, Standard or Web. For less than 250 nodes, a 233MHz processor is recommended, for more than 250 nodes a 500MHz or greater processor is recommended. Servers will need about 1GB of free disk space and 128MB of RAM. For more than 250 nodes, McAfee recommends setting up a dedicated server.
McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator 3.0 will be available worldwide at the end of May. Pricing will start at about $500 $20 per node, available for a few as 25 nodes.