That’s basically the extent of my question, but allow me to give some background information.
At the (medium-sized) university where I study/work we offer students various laptops for a reasonably price. These laptops come loaded with all kinds of software (specific to the faculty the student belongs to) which is distributed via images, which allows us to clone one system multiple times (for easy maintenance). Of course it also includes some security software. Until this year we used the product of a competitor but it doesn’t live up to it’s promises so we want to make a switch. Not many products however have a license which is suited for the per-image distribution, however it seems Comodo does. This Thursday I have a meeting with the IT department of my university to discuss this issues. Now CPF is one of the candidates, but it’s not on top of the list. I understand on guard anti-virus functionality is not included yet (only on demand scanning), so it’s merely a firewall on steroids, but I read on guard AV support will be added in a matter of weeks (a couple of weeks ago). Once released, are we looking at a fully stable product or something that needs another 6 months of testing to have the bugs ironed out? This is rather important in a university environment because if there is one problem it gets multiplied by a thousand. And finally will the product be simple enough to operate by the average student or would functionality like Defence+ cause more hindrance than functionality (think MS Vista’s user account control).
I really want to advice to deploy CPF on the hundreds of student’s laptops but I simply can’t tell if it’s ready, right here and now, and the decision to install the product on student’s laptops needs to be made in just a few weeks. However, if it doesn’t work out, I really hope that next year it’ll be ready.
Comodo DiskShield is ideal for your circumstances. It acts as a virtual hard drive with writes being stored in a cache file, rather than physically written to the disk - sort of like a reverse Daemon Tools, where it acts as a virtual write device, as opposed to a virtual read device. Assuming that image is finalized and no software will be installed by the user and providing they can save their user generated data to a storage device other than the shielded disk, it is transparent to the user.
I’m currently having it trialled with a view to rolling it out across a 3500 seat LAN. It has performed impeccably, with one minor hiccup. The current beta does not protect against an application using raw write methods, but these are few and far between. This protection is slated to be in the third beta, due shortly.
If you want more info on our test environment and the applications running successfully under it, please PM me.
First of all thank you all for your feedback, you have been most helpful.
Will CIS be released as an automatic update for CPF 3 or should it be downloaded and installed separately. If it will be released as an update I might be able to convince some people to install it - because by the time the images will actually be used (September) the update will be there. If it will be released as a separate product I guess we’ll have to put it off until next year (even if we update the images we can’t get the laptops back to perform an upgrade).
As far as Comodo DiskShield goes, that would be a perfect solution for a environment where multiple computers are usable by many different people, and I think I know a few places at our university where it may come in handy. The functionality reminds me a bit of Windows Steadystate, if you’ve heard of it - it doesn’t seem to be that popular. However in our situation, after the laptops images are installed, the laptops are given to students, who of course can do with it as they see fit. So really it’s just about providing them with a safe portable workplace free from virusses. The Comodo Integrated Security Suite seems like it will do the job so I’m looking forward to it’s release.
At least from my viewpoint, I hope CPF3 will never become an all in one security suite. I like your way of putting it,
comodo as a firewall on steroids. And as you can see by some of the replies, soon to be added new steroids.
I currently see comdo3 as something that allows me to reduce the overall number of security applications I have to run, and by mixing a variety of freeware security applications, I can get an excellent multi layered computer security defense against malware of all types. While reducing the annoying number of updates I have to perform.
But if I buy into a security suite, its impossible to mix and match much of anything. One is stuck with their firewall, their anti virus, and if one part of the suite goes, it all collapses.
Worse yet, as a University, one is somewhat stuck with the most irresponsible subset of computer users on the planet, namely students who are going to want to use P2P and all kinds of file sharing web sites to download music
and all kinds downloads chock full of malware. So to that extent, I do not minimize the problem you have.
So to that extent, anything you can do to confine malware to a virtual PC would be a plus, with the coming disk shield being a huge step in that direction. The rule of if it can’t install to hard disk, it can’t install to permanently infect being a huge part of prevention.
But as you mention, you are on deadline to make decisions, and can’t wait months to see something become actually implemented. But if you have a good way to isolate the given laptops users data, you do have the option
to wipe out any infections by nuking the hard drive, then adding the OS, and restoring their personal data.
Thanks for the quick reply. What we have decided it to use the following model. Rather than install a security suite on the Student’s laptops, we leave the choice to them. We give them a few options, links to installers and let them sort it out. If the Comodo CIS Beta version will come out before the end of August we will add it to the list - for the more ‘advanced’ student. Hopefully CIS will me matured enough by the end of this year so we can integrate it into the new batch of Student’s laptops.
What does that mean? Questions and Answers? Does that mean it’s closer to Beta than Mehil was suggesting?
There wil be a VERY brief private beta (probably only a week or two) before it is released to public beta. Comodo staff are very confident it will only be a short beta before going through Release Candidate to Gold.
Today is august 19th. Have I missed the public beta (perhaps it’s announced someplace I didn’t see, the forums are very crowded) or is the public beta not yet (but almost) upon us? I guess I’m just excited to see CIS in action