Making sure users' desktops and laptops are protected from malware and intrusions is a key step for organizations to ensure the network is safe and key data remains secure. But rolling out security software to a large or widespread group of machines can be a daunting task.
This kind of rollout can be time consuming and resource intensive. For example, before you even start, you first have to uninstall any outdated security applications that are already in place. Then you or your staff will either have to visit each desktop and laptop, or send the installation through the network and risk slowing traffic to a crawl. And if some installations don't go smoothly, IT staff will still have to check on any machines that hit a glitch to determine what went wrong.
A new tool can help solve these problems for customers deploying Symantec Endpoint Protection. It's most useful for mid-size businesses with 100 computer users or more, as well as those with users in several locations. Download it free from www.altiris.com/download.aspx (use the drop-down menu to find Symantec Endpoint Protection Integration Component). Here are four ways this application can save time and effort for IT administrators:
1. Uninstalling unwanted software: Making sure desktops and laptops are free of any earlier versions of security software is a necessary first step to any new installation. Integration Component can help with this step by automatically removing earlier versions of Symantec security software before the upgrade. It can do the same for other third-party brands. And, if your users have obsolete or unwanted versions of other applications, from word processors to audio players, you can get rid of those, too. Integration Component comes with a tool set to allow IT staff with scripting skills to adapt the application to automatically remove other software as well.
2. Saving on bandwidth: Installing new software over a network is highly convenient and can save on IT staff time, especially if travel is involved. But big installations can strain network resources. To minimize this, you can set Integration Component's scheduling feature to perform the roll-out during evening or weekend down times.
You can also save bandwidth by using Integration Component's multicasting feature. Begin by transmitting one instance of Endpoint Protection over a network connection. Multicasting can then distribute that single instance to a large number of desktops and laptops and install it simultaneously, instead of one machine at a time. If you're using multicasting to install Endpoint Protection to desktops and laptops at a remote location, you'll first need to choose one machine at that location to act as a package server for the rest.
3. Monitoring installation success: You hope every installation will run smoothly, but in case it doesn't, it's useful to know exactly when and how things went wrong. Typically, however, your only clue that there's been a problem is if the desktop or laptop fails to start showing up in status reports. If this happens, you may not know why.
Integration Component provides error code-level reporting that can help you pinpoint exactly where the process failed and why. For example, if an Endpoint Protection deployment fails on many machines at once, these reports can tell you if all the failures had the same cause—and if one fix will work for them all.
4. Deploying immediate updates: When faced with a specific security threat, such as a new day-zero virus, the best way to keep desktops and laptops malware-free is to make sure they all have the newest definitions in place. One way to do this is to let users know that they must update immediately, but some may not get the message, or may be too engrossed with other tasks to respond right away. Integration Component enables you to send an automatic update instead, immediately protecting all desktops and laptops on the network, without end user involvement.
By helping with remote installations, automatically removing unwanted software and providing detailed error reports, Integration Component can save IT staff time during an Endpoint Protection implementation.