LAS VEGAS--In an effort to help systems administrators prioritize their virus-fighting efforts, Network Associates Inc. on Tuesday announced a revision to its virus threat assessment program and created separate categories for enterprise and home users.
NAIs AVERT (Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team) has also created a new threat category—"low-profiled"—for viruses that are a low risk but are either receiving a bit of attention because of a celebrity name in the subject line, for example, or are proofs of concept. A good example of a low-profiled virus is Phage, which targets the Palm OS.
AVERT also added a "high-outbreak" category to the top of its threat scale for mass-mailing viruses that have the ability to spread very rapidly, such as Nimda or Melissa.
But the more important development for enterprises is the creation of separate rating systems. For each new virus, AVERT will analyze the risk separately for home and corporate users and assign a rating based on its risk relative to each group.
The recent Klez.h worm, for example, is a low to medium risk for enterprises, which typically update their virus signatures on a regular basis. But its a high risk for home users, said Vincent Gullotto, vice president of the AVERT Research Labs at NAI, based in Santa Clara, Calif.
"Time and money are synonymous in these cases, so corporations may rest a little easier when they see the risk is going down [on a particular virus]," Gullotto said.
Also, NAIs McAfee Security division on Tuesday announced new versions of its WebShield e250 and e500 appliances. The appliances now sit in the traffic stream, which cuts down on the configuration needed prior to deployment, company officials said.
Both boxes are available now.