Recommendation for Anti-Virus Protection for Windows 8 Personally Owned Machines

With the recent public release of Windows 8, we are starting to see more students and early adopter faculty/staff start to use Windows 8. In addition to getting up to speed with a new client OS, IT team members are also learning a new Symantec release of their Endpoint Protection (SEP) 12.1 client which supports Windows 8 and Server 2012. This new release is called SEP 12.1(RU2).

Members of the IT team and ITSP community are still creating and testing the supportability of a number of configurations for both Windows 8 and SEP to ensure compatibility with campus services, appropriate level of protection, and (for personal-owned machines) a simplified but usable product.

We are making the following recommendations:

  • Use Microsoft Security Essentials for Personally-owned Machines – Since incorporating future configuration changes into an already deployed (personally-owned) client is difficult, we suggest using the widely available and Microsoft-supported solution of Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) as a low-risk/no-cost solution for students and personally-owned machines. MSE integrates with the Windows Security Center provides an adequate level of protection until we are ready to support the new release of SEP 12.1R2.
  • Use Symantec Endpoint Protection for University-owned Machines – We are still recommending SEP 12.1.2RU2 for University-owned computers as the managed client allows for on-the-fly changes to be made thru the Symantec Management Console. The latest version of SEP 12.1RU2 is available here:  \marshall.edumunetDistributionsSymantecCurrent-Install-Packages_Windows_8_Support . The BASIC package includes the base anti-virus/malware module; the FULL package includes anti-virus/malware, proactive threat protection including browser plug-in support, and network threat protection (NTP) and intrusion detection (IDS) modules.  NOTE: be aware that the NTP module disables the default Windows Firewall and establishes its own firewall access control list. It is this feature which is giving us the most concern as it has the potential to do a lot of good, but also will have a learning curve.

An update: The Marshall University Office of Information Technology now supports the use of Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1RU2 / ver 12.1.2xxx and newer for Windows 8 OS. Read more.