|20 Feb 2010||#1|
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Why Microsoft Security Essentials is good for business
Enterprises invest a lot of time and money in protecting their organizations from Malware and other threats. No doubt you've installed Microsoft Forefront Client Security or another anti-malware product on all of your managed PCs. You probably also have deployed edge protection such as Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway and protected malware-bearing email from entering your organization with a product such as Microsoft Forefront Protection for Exchange Server. You even use network access control such as Microsoft NAP to insure that computers connecting to your corporate network through a VPN are up to date on patches and are running current anti-malware software. Despite all this, do you lay awake at night worrying about Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks against your company's website, as happened to major eCommerce sites this past holiday season? Or perhaps, despite your best efforts, the risk from your customers' accounts being penetrated and misused remains unacceptably high? Whether it is their unwitting participation in Botnets used to launch DDoS attacks, or surreptitiously installed keyloggers and rootkits being used to capture passwords and other customer information, unprotected consumer PCs are a major threat to your Enterprise. And that is where Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) can help.
In my role as "tech support" for many relatives and friends one of my greatest frustrations has been discovering how many of them aren't running, or don't have current signatures for, anti-malware software. Some never complete the installation of the trial anti-malware software that was loaded on the new PC they purchased. Many fail to subscribe to updates once the trial period runs out. A few have even uninstalled anti-malware products after finding the one that came with their PC too intrusive. At one point I gifted subscriptions to Windows Live OneCare to a few people only to find the same pattern, once the subscription I paid for ran out they failed to renew it. Finally I discovered that my brother-in-law had installed a free anti-malware product on my in-laws' PC, solving the problem that they might not renew a paid product's expiring subscription. I followed suit, ensuring that everyone I knew had this basic protection in place. Now imagine a world in which all consumer PCs were similarly protected. Imagine that it was much more difficult for your customers' passwords and account information to be stolen or their PCs co-opted to attack your website. Wouldn't that help you sleep at night?
There are many high-quality consumer anti-malware products out there (both free and paid) and as IT professionals we should be encouraging all users to adopt one of them. Being in a group that produces anti-malware products I've received some flack for saying that I care more about making sure consumers install quality anti-malware software and keep it up to date than I do about which specific product they choose. But of course I favor Microsoft Security Essentials. Over the years Microsoft has invested heavily to create a world class anti-malware engine and Research and Response (R&R) team. We use the same anti-malware engine in both MSE and our Forefront products, and MSE users benefit from the same R&R efforts as do our Forefront customers. With its low false positive rate, use of Microsoft Update for signature and engine update distribution, and general focus on being unobtrusive MSE stays out of the user's way. A small download and fast installation ease the deployment burden. With MSE, we've pretty much eliminated the inhibitors to consumers having up-to-date anti-malware software installed. Now imagine that all your customers' currently unprotected PCs, indeed all the currently unprotected consumer PCs in the world, instead had MSE installed. Imagine it, and you know why Microsoft Security Essentials is good for business.
Hope this helps,
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