It's been a busy month for antivirus software, and ESET is the latest vendor to offer a comprehensive security product with the release of ESET Smart Security. This integrated security product expands the company's NOD32 antivirus product to add antispyware, antispam and firewall security.
NOD32 remains at the core of the product, and will be upgraded for sale as a stand-alone product on its own. Because it's written in assembler language, it has a very small memory footprint, runs very fast and has minimal impact on system resources.
ESET Smart Security's firewall will have aggressive scanning as data go up and down the wire, since so many forms of malware seek to get around firewalls by using certain ports or applications. The NOD32 engine will inspect all traffic going in and out of the computer through the firewall in real time without impacting performance, said Andrew Lee, chief research officer for ESET.
"A lot of firewalls are rather static. They give port access to an application and then don't check the content coming through," he told InternetNews.com. "The network is our area of focus since everything goes through it. We inspect all network traffic with the antivirus engine."
The NOD32 scanning engine uses a heuristics scanning engine called ThreatSense, which ESET claims has not missed an in-the-wild-virus in Virus Bulletin VB 100 testing in the past nine years, while producing only one false-positive during that time.
NOD32 Antivirus 3.0 has been given a major overhaul of its own. For starters, it's much more user friendly and the UI is easier to navigate. Its confusing mix of component functions AMON, IMON have been renamed and the interface has a more Vista-like look.
It's also got quite a bit of power, with a system process monitor reminiscent of the Process Explorer utility from Winternals, the Microsoft subsidiary. It's possible to shut down a suspicious process and the personal firewall can be used to shut down an application that is acting suspiciously.