Spy Sweeper Enterprise
Strengths: Excellent detection and removal; excellent management.
Weaknesses: Default settings not ideal.
Verdict: One of the best management interfaces on test. Its scanning and removal is excellent, so it is a good proposition for all networks.
This product combines the excellent detection tools of Spy Sweeper with a new management front-end, Admin Console, and Java-based application used to control how you deal with spyware over the entire network.
As with all good enterprise applications, you can deploy this to client PCs on the network, provided you enter domain administration rights into the Spy Sweeper service. Admin Console will poll the network and create a list of PCs, to which you can then distribute the software.
This means that the clients are automatically configured to talk to the server. You can choose to leave the client minimized, working in the background, or if you have more advanced users, give them pop-up information whenever spyware is found.
Installations can be managed by group, so you can schedule scans and updates based on the PCs and their uses. Groups are automatically created based on Windows domain names, but you can create your own.
Updates are handled locally and Webroot does a good job of it, including being able to choose to automatically install program updates. This level of granularity will appeal to large networks with strict version controls.
Scanning can be scheduled or run manually, either of an entire group or individual PC. Scans run quickly in the background and both the level of detection and the removal success is excellent.
You can view scan reports for the most prevalent forms of spyware, but there are plenty of options. However, we noticed that Admin Console does not carry quite as much information as the client — none of the cookies that were quarantined appeared in it and we couldn’t work out how to get at it. Granted, a lot of this information is overkill, but some people will want to view it.
There are Smart Shields which which can be configured for real-time spyware blocking, including browser hijacking and preventing new start-up processes. These are turned off by default, so you need to enable them for comprehensive protection — better default settings would help, however.
With excellent protection and an enterprise-worthy management console, Spy Sweeper Enterprise has the protection you need.