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Preventive care for groupware

Network security software maker McAfee Associates will roll out an antivirus package for Microsoft's forthcoming Exchange groupware server.

Network security software maker McAfee Associates (MCAF) next month will roll out an antivirus package for Microsoft's forthcoming Exchange groupware server.

GroupShield and GroupScan for Microsoft Exchange 5.5, to be rolled out at Comdex later this month, provide antivirus protection for Exchange clients and servers.

GroupShield provides the Exchange server with virus scanning, optional SNMP (simple network management protocol) alerting, and administrative features, while GroupScan intercepts and scans incoming messages at the client side before they reach the desktop hard drive, according to the company.

West Wesson, product manager for McAfee, said, "If someone decides to use Exchange person-to-person messaging, we've built in a (detector module) that jumps in and intercepts messages as it encrypts. If there is a virus on the message, GroupScan pops up and cleans the file."

Traditional desktop virus products scan decrypted files only after they have been saved on a user's hard drive, leaving the infected attachment in the original message where it can be unknowingly passed on to other users, Wesson pointed out.

With the new Exchange package, detected viruses will be cleaned, deleted, or quarantined for future analysis and origin tracing. Exchange mailboxes and public folders are scanned for infected files, even if they reside inside compressed attachments. Administrators are able to conduct both on-demand and scheduled scans of selected mailboxes and folders.

Both GroupShield and GroupScan can also support Exchange 4.0 and 5.0, the company said. GroupShield for Microsoft Exchange is available today for $34. A package combining GroupShield and GroupScan will be available December 15. Pricing has not been set for the combined package.