Symantec Endpoint Protection.cloud is one of the software provider’s several hosted security products specifically designed as a public-cloud service. It delivers antispyware, antivirus, firewall and host intrusion prevention for small to medium-sized organizations.
SEP.cloud is centrally managed from a web-based dashboard and is available for most recent Windows client and server operating systems. Symantec’s cloud service runs over the Symantec Global Intelligence Network, which is one of the largest security research networks in the world. Once installed and configured, updates are automatic and transparent to the user.
End users will benefit from more comprehensive protection and overall system performance. For example, SEP.cloud has an idle full scan feature that senses when the end user’s system has increased resources, such as when a user begins a full scan after leaving his or her system to step into a meeting. When the user resumes work, the cloud service places a bookmark delineating where the scan left off. It then begins the scan at that point the next time the system goes idle, saving time and deferring performance to applications required for the user’s immediate tasks.
The agents learn over time which sites are trusted, and users stop experiencing system slowdowns. In terms of security, SEP.cloud doesn’t just use signature-based protection. It also uses advanced heuristics, such as a cloud-based reputation database and Symantec’s behavior analysis engine. End users are warned of unsafe sites during their searches and can take comfort that their PCs, notebooks and mobile devices are always updated against current threats, whether they’re remote or logged in to their virtual private network.
The maximum number of seats per organization Symantec Endpoint Protection.cloud can support
SEP.cloud’s browser-based centralized control panel makes it easy to manage. Setting up groups, adding computers or users with a specific set of rules and pushing client agents either to an entire network or group (or just to one system) is simple. As part of the installation, Symantec provides three options. Administrators can either select a standard download, a redistributable download, or send out an e-mail invitation. Installation takes 30 minutes at most. I discovered that there were several preconfigured policies that let the agent automatically deploy the antivirus, antispyware, firewall and host intrusion protection.
The user interface is easy to navigate and gives administrators the option of receiving alerts either in e-mail or SMS form. Administrators also have the freedom to customize their reports either as PDF files or in HTML format. And what's a security product without a security audit? SEP.cloud can record login times, policy changes and users or computers added.
My initial download took more than 392 megabytes of space on my Windows 2008 server. While this by no means is a game-changer, the IT department will want to make sure they’re installing on a server that has plenty of space available so the server’s overall performance doesn’t take a hit and impact other installed applications.
SEP.cloud is relatively affordable for most organizations. Pricing is based on a per-seat subscription; the average cost is $35 per seat for a 12-month contract. That could change depending on the number of seats purchased and the length of the contract. Included in this price is 24x7 support, regular maintenance, updates and service enhancements or upgrades.