Sophos Launches DNA-Type Virus Detection

The new technology, dubbed Genotype detection, uses forensic analysis to identify suspicious patterns and characteristics that are unique to either a virus family or spam campaign.

According to Greg Mastoras, director of product marketing, the Genotype analysis will help U.S. solution providers use Sophos products such as Sophos Anti-Virus 5.0 and PureMessage to reduce exposure to new unidentified threats and unwanted content.

"It's as if we're examining the DNA of each virus," he said Tuesday at the RSA Conference in San Francisco. "The weakness of certain viruses is that many of them contain the same code."

Mastoras said the intent of Genotype detection is to prevent against virus variants before the variants are created. Once the Sophos software has deciphered the commonalities between variants, it blocks those characteristics, preventing any further iterations of the threats from entering a network.

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Some of the other product upgrades incorporate new architecture to address the security needs of medium-to-large enterprises. These management tools integrate updating and reporting tasks, removing much of the existing administration costs, Mastoras said.

One tool, the Sophos Enterprise Console, incorporates a flexible management architecture for organizations looking to better control Windows and Macintosh anti-virus protection across their network.

"Managing updates and reporting is critical to controlling overall security infrastructure," he said, predicting that the products will resonate well with small- and medium-sized businesses. "We hope to make that whole process easier."

New features in the U.K.-based vendor's PureMessage software consist of a new reporting engine and expanded reporting timeframes. Additional aspects of the upgrade include: easy LDAP integration, an enhanced end-user web interface, native support for the Sun Java System Messaging Platform, and streamlined deployment.

Finally, Mastoras noted that Sophos also is introducing a premium support package designed specifically for large enterprises that require high levels of customized support.

All of the upgrades will be available by the end of February, he said.