CA eTrust PestPatrol Anti-Spyware Corporate Edition review

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Spyware is fast becoming a big problem for businesses. Although most can be stopped with an enforceable AUP (acceptable use policy), it may be easier to implement anti-spyware software. PestPatrol Anti-Spyware Corporate Edition aims to provide full network protection. It differs substantially from the standalone and SME versions offered by CA, as it’s designed to be managed from a single central console.

CA eTrust PestPatrol Anti-Spyware Corporate Edition review

Installation is remarkably swift and support staff will approve of the fact that all agent deployment to client systems is fully automated. Whenever a workstation is selected for its first scan, the management console simply downloads the agent without any user intervention. The software is copied to a directory on the local drive and fired up remotely whenever a scan is requested. If a user removes the software to avoid this process, PestPatrol will simply copy it back down on the next scan.

The administrative interface is fairly basic, but CA advised us it was designed like this to be as simple to use as possible. All workgroups and domains are listed in the main interface, so you just select a group of individual clients and fire off an on-demand scan. Note that once a manual scan has started, you can’t begin another until the first has finished. You can also select multiple clients and save them in separate profiles. The only real-time information provided on scan progress is from a simple read-out on the main interface.

Along with manual scans, a scheduler may be used to run them at regular intervals on selected groups. The PestPatrol agent also provides real-time protection: reactions are swift, as it stops any process deemed to be a threat, while dubious cookies are simply deleted. The scan process can be customised too. PestPatrol offers a list of common file locations and you’re able to add your own paths and select all hard disks. Three reactions are provided: log all activity, have the agent delete any spyware, or move the offending data to a quarantine area. Clients have no knowledge of the scan process and can be left blissfully unaware that PestPatrol is working away in the background.

For testing, we used Windows domain members loaded with a range of spyware. We employed key loggers such as SilentLog, Trojans, adware such as 2nd-Thought and Virtual Bouncer, plus the search hijackers Look2Me and IBIS Toolbar. These created a browsing nightmare on our systems, but PestPatrol picked them all up along with the extra crud they installed after a manual scan was conducted.

The scanning process is quick, with PestPatrol checking a Windows XP system in 90 seconds, whereas Webroot’s Spy Sweeper took five minutes. However, PestPatrol wasn’t so efficient when it came to pest control, as it failed to clear a number of running adware processes and Registry entries. Spy Sweeper was able clean the test system far more efficiently.

Although the administrative interface and capabilities are more basic than those offered by Webroot, we like the way PestPatrol works. It can be deployed quickly across a network and the agent’s transparency means it may easily be installed without users even being aware of its presence.

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