This world is digitally controlled, operated, and powered by computers. Every action we do today involves the use of a computer, whether that action be reading this review, driving your car, or ordering a meal at a restaurant.
At the end of 2014, the United Nations stated that over three billion people worldwide will have access to an internet connection, allowing them to access unlimited virtual data to answer any question, to connect with friends, or even find what time the sun is setting today. Humans today are so well connected, it would be nearly impossible to revert back to the time before computers.
November 24, 2014, Sony Entertainment received news from their network security team that they’d had a break-in to their servers and had lost terabytes of data, including, but not limited to, unreleased movies, employee data, emails, financial data, and company secrets.
The hackers of Sony Entertainment stole this data to use it as blackmail and potentially sell the information for money. This entire incident was caused by a flaw in security, a flaw that was never picked up by the security team at Sony and malware that remained undetected by their security software.
Malware is malicious software that can make its way into a computer and carry out various malicious tasks. Malware can include viruses that cripple a computer’s usage rendering it unusable; it can be a worm, a device that spreads malicious code among files with the intent to distribute malware to multiple computers; keyloggers; rootkits; and possibly the worst, a Trojan Horse, that is designed to be delivered inside otherwise harmless data. Trojan horses can create a backdoor entry way into a computer or computer network allowing the original creator of the malware to access confidential data, data that can be top secret and sold to competitors, or the worst kind, ransomware, that can encrypt files and demand payment to decrypt them. Malware works in a series by first implanting malware that stops the machine from functioning, using the infected machine to use a worm that spreads to other machines and eventually creating the entry way for the Trojan Horse.
This malicious code can be implanted anywhere: inside a Word Document, in a malicious program, or even an advertisement that you click on from a website. As long as there’s money to be made, data to steal, and people who use computers, malware will always be out there and it can never get stopped. Malicious engineers will also continuously create and design new hacking methods, making your security team work harder and harder.
While malware can never be completely stopped, it can certainly be suppressed before an incident like Sony’s becomes reality. Since 1992, the Western European based security company, ESET, has been a leader in creating a safer, malware, free world. With the first success of NOD32, a consumer grade antivirus, ESET has been making a larger footstep in the world of business and offers some of the strongest antivirus and antimalware products available.
Advertised, designed, and focused towards high tiered business corporations, the ESET Security Suite that will be reviewed today is one of the highest levels of security available on the market. This security suite includes virtually every single tool needed to secure your business’s data on nearly every type of device; including Windows (versions 7, 8.1, 10), Mac OS X, Linux, Android (Jelly Bean and higher), Windows Server, and LInux/BSD/Solaris.
With its extraordinary command, security, and accomplishment, is ESET’s Remote Administrator 6 Suite the world’s most advanced security suite available? Is it enough to secure your businesses greatest assets?
Welcome to my review of the ESET Remote Administrator 6 Suite that includes reviews for Remote Administrator 6, ESET Endpoint Security for Windows, and ESET Endpoint Security for Android. Throughout this in-depth review, I will be discussing the following topics: the installation, user interfaces, functionality, and my final thoughts. I would like to thank ESET for providing this software.
When setting up Remote Administrator 6 or any ESET Endpoint Security software, a unique email will be generated that includes the necessary information to begin. This email includes the purchased software, number of license keys, your installation license key and username/password information, expiration date, and your public identification number to receive superb ESET support.
Downloads are lightweight, megabyte-sized executable self-installers that are accessible directly through the ESET website. When speaking with an ESET software engineer, I was told that ESET focuses on the ease of installation and that is clearly noticeable when installing their software.
Remote Administrator 6 is available in three different installation methods, the first being the recommended option of the All-in-one installer, the second being an individual installer so that you can choose what to install, and the third being a virtual installer that is used when Remote Administrator 6 will be installed in a virtual environment.
My testing of all of this software was conducted on a custom built computer that runs Windows 8.1 Professional 64bit with all Windows Updates installed and runs zero user scripts. I opted to use the ESET recommended All-in-one installer for Remote Administrator 6 and standard installers for Endpoint Security as well as ESET Endpoint Security for Android; Android testing and installation was performed on different Samsung phones running Android KitKat and Lollipop.
I’ll begin with the installation of Remote Administrator 6. As I mentioned, installation of the software is incredibly easy. I simply sat back and just repeatedly pressed the Next button. I was asked to create a password for my newly created LocalHost server as well as install additional required software. Remote Administrator 6 requires the use of SQL 2008 to create an accessible website to display your network’s computer arrangement, Java 7 update 65, and .NET Framework 2.0 as well as 3.5. I do have a dislike for the usage of Java 7 update 65, as Java is a major security risk on computers. While this ESET suite is designed to stop malware, I find it strange how the host PC is asked to install a security risk on that PC.
The installer will ask you to fill in some details about your network and company then finally finish with a restart of the PC. Total installation time was about 10 minutes, quite quick for the entire database to be created for your network.
If that sounded easy, it gets even easier from here. ESET Endpoint Security is downloadable in two different formats, one with built-in antivirus removal and the other without. The only difference is that the installer will take a few moments extra to scan for currently installed antiviruses then remove them if necessary.
Unlike Remote Administrator 6, ESET Endpoint Security requires no additional software to be installed and installs in less than five minutes. Once the installation is complete, you are asked to activate the program by either using your license key, using an offline file, or by connecting it to your Remote Administrator 6 server; the ideal choice for those who will be using this software.
Lastly, Endpoint Security for Android differs in that the APK file must be moved to your device. Tapping on the application will first guide you in allowing third-party applications to be installed; this is a one-time method and does not leave your device vulnerable to other third-party applications. Installation guides you through the process and, again, is as easy as tapping next. You are forced to create an administrator password that will be discussed further below. Then one small annoyance is that to activate the application, you must either use your ESET license key or connect to your Remote Administrator 6 localhost, there’s no option for using your username and password.
ESET really does make a seamless and clear operation when installing their software. IT Managers and Security Team groups will understand that installation and deployment of security suites can be extremely time consuming and normally causes crashes or failures. I’ve been using these products for over a month now and I can state that ESET’s methods are unique and clever. With such an easy installation for all of their suite, you can only imagine what it’s like to use the software.
Enterprise security teams will understand the troubles that come with managing security across hundreds, if not thousands of devices. While most employees are trained and educated with computer software, many ignore the security balloons that will pop up when an issue has been detected. There’s also the troubling issue of a lost or stolen device and the methods of recovering the data on that system.
Remote Administrator 6 is one of the most intuitive security servers that I have ever used. I have previously used the well-known Symantec Security Suite that included Endpoint Security, PGP Encryption Servers, and a Network Control Server for managing devices and after using Remote Administrator 6, I cannot see why a security team would choose anything else.
Accessing your localhost can be done on the host machine by connecting to the localhost website. Before access is allowed, you are prompted to enter the security username and passphrase that was created during the Remote Administrator 6 installation.
The website interface is pleasing to use and allows you to filter data with the click of a button. On the left hand side is your navigation menu that contains the Dashboard, Computers, Threats, Reports and Admin panels. Just below that is your Quick Links tools for creating a new User, Policy, Client Task, or access the Agent Live Installer. To optimize your productivity, when the navigation panel is not in use, it shrinks down to icon tiles until the mouse is hovered in that area.
On the top is your searching tool that allows you to search data by Computer Name, IPv4/IPv6 Address or Threat Names. Right of the search bar is your Help button to access the incredibly detailed Help guides. Following that is your Username and current session timer that doubles as a log out button.
One thing to note before reading on is that Remote Administrator 6 is a highly customizable and feature rich tool. It can be changed in millions of ways and not all of the customizable tools and features will be covered. Each section of Remote Administrator 6 includes so much information that it would be nearly impossible to write all of it down and explain in great detail. The following will be a collaboration of key features and tools found in each tab of the left navigation menu. To understand the true power and potential of this tool, I recommend contacting ESET Sales Team to request a trial license for your business; a contact link can be found at the bottom of this review.
Your Dashboard section of Remote Administrator 6 will be the information center to find a quick view of what is happening in your network. There is a top navigation menu bar that can be customized to your liking. This bar can include multiple tabs that give you access to Computer information, Server Statistics, Antivirus Threats, Firewall Threats, and many more options can be added. ESET uses many pie charts in Remote Administrator 6 to show all of the details in your network. The default layout of your Dashboard will include a Computer Status overview showing you the major problems in your network, indicating that you have a security risk, security notifications, or show that your computers are running risk free. Moreover, there are additional pie charts that can show you information based on what you set. On the bottom of your Dashboard is your “Computers with problems” list that shows a list of computers that are reporting errors. Information about the computer is displayed, such as the Computer Name, Time of Occurrence, Severity, Source, Feature, Status and Problem. From there, you can select the computer in need and a new pop-up window appears showing you the Computer’s information. This pop-up window allows you to send commands to the computer or phone; commands such as run a scan, deleting a file, request information, etc. On mobile devices, you can also send ESET mobile commands for Find, Lock, Siren, Scan, and Wipe.
Next, users have the option to access the Computers tab that shows a folder system of the computers in your network. The computers in your Remote Administrator 6 server are automatically bundled into a Group folder that you can customize to your liking. Default settings include the Lost & Found folder for devices, folders that separate Windows, Linux, and Mac OS computers, folders for computers with active threats, computers with outdated virus signature databases, computers with outdated operating systems, problematic computers, and computers with non-activated security products. Clicking on a folder will list the computers and their current status. By organizing your computers into a folder, security teams can choose to run a task for computers in that folder. Tasks include nearly all antivirus tools like scanning, clearing the quarantine folder, updating, etc.
Third on the list is the Threats tab, a tab that you want to see no active computers in. Similar to the Computers tab, your network computers are placed into their respective folders and new folders are created based on active threats in your network. Antivirus blocks are highlighted in red, while Firewall preventions are highlighted in yellow. This tab allows you to filter data based on occurrence, or filters that can show information on a certain virus or potentially unwanted programs. Clicking on the threat at hand will display information of what the threat was, when it was detected, the infected machine, and action taken if any. Again, similar to the Computers tab, you can choose to run an on-demand scan to determine if the system is running clean and then choose to run a task if necessary. If the system continues to report an issue, ESET includes a Mute function that will silence the message or client.
Moving on, the Reports tab is one of my favorite tabs in Remote Administrator 6 due to its intensive display of knowledge. Most security teams will meet daily or weekly to discuss security details in their managed network and to show data in a meeting can be difficult. The Reports tab allows you to create charts and share information of a an active threat, number of infected computers, recently installed programs, computers that have not been connected for over 14 days, and much, much more. When scrolling through the reports list, it clearly showed how ESET thought of every kind of report imaginable and data is exported into colorful, easy to read graphics or lists.
Last on the list is the Admin section of Remote Administrator 6 and it should instead be called Settings. Inside the Admin tab, users are allowed to use different templates, activate alarms for items like a network attack, see certifications, and other Remote Administrator 6 changes.
When taking a look at ESET Endpoint Security there is a new refreshed and welcoming design. Previously, I was running ESET Endpoint Security standalone on my desktop computers and it ran a clean white look that had nice menus and was well designed. ESET has redesigned ESET Endpoint Security when purchased with Remote Administrator 6. Instead of the white look, you have this darker black background with red/green/yellow font depending on if there’s a problem or not. If you’ve ever used ESET Endpoint Security or ESET NOD32 in the past, you’ll feel right at home with their security suite. Just like Remote Administrator 6, the application is separated into multiple menus: Protection Status, Computer Scan, Update, Setup, Tools, and Help and Support. ESET Endpoint Security is a lightweight and user-friendly device that takes care of itself once activated.
When combined with Remote Administrator 6, the end users should never have to think twice about security as the security team of said business will take care of what’s needed. When installed client side, ESET allows for the administrators to place passwords to stop end users from adjusting settings such as disabling the antivirus.
ESET Endpoint Security includes important functions that keep the system running at all times. By default, six scheduling tasks are enabled for running scans, updating, and monitoring the computer. Endpoint Security also uses the incorporated Firewall, Web and Email protection, Network protection, Document protection, and Antistealth mode. The hardware inside my testing computer included a Samsung EVO SSD with 16GB of RAM and an i5 CPU and with ESET running a full scan in the background, I never felt slowed down or felt that I had a lag in the system. Granted my computer is far superior to many business computers, but even when installed on a laptop with moderate hardware specifications, the system still ran perfectly smoothly. An important note is ESET creates and sends hourly security updates to their products to ensure that all malware is blocked from the moment of detection in the ESET database.
Finally, there is the ESET Endpoint Security for Android, a mobile application to help block malware on the go. Mobile business phones contain a large amount of company data, such as business contacts, usernames and passwords, important files, etc. While the Google Play store has a strong antivirus shield to stop malicious applications from being distributed, nobody can stop what can be downloaded via the internet. ESET’s solution incorporated the same protection you get from Endpoint Security into your Android device. It uses a similar black color scheme as Endpoint Security as well as requiring an administrator password before changes are made. Of course, this too is controlled by Remote Administrator 6 and can be sent commands as mentioned above.
For those business that use Macintosh or Linux, ESET also provides security software in the form of ESET Endpoint Security and NOD32 for Business.
I’ve been using Remote Administrator 6 with the additional software for a little over a month and while I don’t have the capability of testing the software with over a 1000+ computers, I’ve gotten a good grasp of what this software has to offer.
Whenever I became confused on a subject or needed assistance on how to perform a new task, the complex ESET help database was an excellent place to start. The guides contain easy to read and follow steps on nearly every task in Remote Administrator 6 and even includes some high resolution photos to follow.
In terms of protection, ESET ranks above most of the competition on the market. Third party antivirus tests conclude that ESET blocks 99% of all incoming attacks and includes some of the best tools available for enterprise businesses. While I wasn’t attacked by an international hacker or mysteriously bombarded by malware attacks, I never had to worry with ESET on my system. I knew that downloadable files were safe, browsing the internet was harmless and no matter what I was doing, I was protected. When malware is detected, ESET Endpoint Security will immediately and automatically take care of the threat and alert the user as well as Remote Administrator 6.
For compatibility testing, I ran ESET Endpoint Security alongside the highly praised Malwarebytes Anti-malware. During all of my testing both units ran flawlessly and never interfered with each other and while running both is not necessary, it does add one smaller step towards ultimate protection. My systems also ran with MVPS HOST File with the only interference being ESET SysInspector thinking it was a moderate threat.
My Final Thoughts
All-in-all the ESET security suite of remote administrator and endpoint products is an award-worthy suite that is capable of providing your business with a strong defense against the harmful internet. Whether or not your business is moderately sized or includes thousands of employees, this suite can handle them all. It’s extremely user-friendly interfaces make it pleasing to use and once installed, the systems run as needed. Remote Administrator 6 allows you to manage thousands of computers all from the comfort of your own desk.
The highly sophisticated support matched by the immense depth creates a tool that is well suited for any business and once tested and implanted, you’ll never want to use anything else again! Those questions I asked at the beginning of this review find the answer of Yes, this is one of the most advanced security suites available and whether its right for your business is just a trial test away.
For purchasing and testing details, you can contact the ESET Sales Team here.
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