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SonicWall to bolster next OS with antivirus scanning

Company says having the operating system screen for viruses at the gateway is more thorough and more efficient.

Security vendor SonicWall is expected to formally announce on Monday a new operating system that includes the capability for scanning for viruses at the gateway.

SonicWall is planning to include its Realtime Gateway Anti-Virus with its SonicOS 3.0. The antivirus scanning feature is designed to scan for viruses on a packet-by-packet basis, rather than copy all packets and put them into files, which are then scanned.

"Our competitors do antivirus scanning, but it's file-based. As a result, their customers need a lot more memory to make copies of every packet and the file. And most of the competitors can only scan files up to a certain size, or allow only so many simultaneous scans to go on," said John Gmuender, SonicWall's vice president of engineering.

SonicWall's gateway antivirus software will run on the gateway, and as a result, it will attack a virus before it travels to the desktop of an employee, he added. The company's scanning software will also notify users at their desktop if a virus was caught and suppressed, rather than dish up a blank page with no explanation that information has been suppressed, Gmuender said.