McAfee offers virus scan for Lotus Notes, Domino

Network Associates Inc. has begun shipping a new version of McAfee GroupShield Domino antivirus software for Lotus Development Corp.’s Notes and Domino environments. The new version incorporates Outbreak Manager, which monitors e-mail for suspicious patterns that indicate the messages might contain a virus.

McAfee GroupShield Domino 5.0 combines virus detection with the monitoring features, as well as content filtering to keep out potential security problems and added management features.

Outbreak Manager can “quarantine” incoming messages if it detects a suspicious pattern, such as an inordinate number of e-mail with the same subject line or the same attachment, said Sal Viveros, director of McAfee’s Active Virus Defense suite. An administrator can set Outbreak Manager to monitor a number of things automatically, Viveros said.

An advantage of GroupShield Domino is that it is installed on the Domino server, so incoming messages are scanned on a central computer, said Brent Hartsfield, customer support manager for Colonial Properties Trust in Birmingham, Ala.

“If a series of e-mail comes in with the same subject line then you can pull them off into a quarantine database and look at them before they are delivered,” said Hartsfield, who participated in a beta test of the software, which he has been using for about six months.

Hartsfield, who manages more than 500 desktops and more than 50 servers, said having the software installed on the e-mail server has made his life easier, especially because GroupShield Domino automatically updates itself with the latest data from McAfee and it can be managed remotely from any browser-equipped PC.

“We are seeing some recognition … that the way to deal with viruses is starting to change, and you really can’t do it on the desktop,” said Eric Hemmendinger, an analyst at Aberdeen Group. “You’ve got to deploy (the antivirus software) on servers that are the gateways.”

GroupShield Domino also includes content filtering, which allows administrators to block all e-mail with a specific subject line, such as “pictures” or “joke.”

That feature is important because it allows administrators to filter out bandwidth hogs, but it can also be used to block the subject line of a known virus that’s spreading across the Internet, Hemmendinger said.

GroupShield Domino also includes E-Policy Orchestrator, a feature that enables the administrator to centrally enforce a company’s entire virus policy. The E-policy Orchestrator includes oversight features that help managers find out which PCs are running the latest software and create specialized policies for work groups that are more vulnerable to Internet-borne viruses.

The price of the software varies depending on the number of nodes, but Viveros said it costs about $28 per node for an installation of 500. GroupShield Domino is now available in an English version only, but French, German, Spanish and Italian versions will be available within a couple of weeks, Viveros said.

Network Associates, in Santa Clara, Calif., can be reached at