Avast + NIS; asking for trouble?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by AshG, Apr 12, 2008.

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  1. AshG

    AshG Registered Member

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    I'm a stand-in right now on a computer repair job for the normal tech. The person I am working for's regular techie convinced her to use both NIS and Avast at the same time. Working on this sytem is like trying to wade through knee-high mud in the middle of winter. This customer is willing to trade speed for a sense of security.

    First, is there some merit to what the techie has said? I am not a Norton user, but I was under the impression that NIS included antivirus components. I think the overlap between the two programs isn't making her any more safe than either would on its own. Part of why I'm working on these systems is to install more RAM, as the customer has been complaining of slowdowns since going to the two-pronged defense setup.

    Secondly, if having both NIS and Avast at the same time is not the best of ideas, how do I go about convincing the customer that her time and money are better spent going with one or the other? This is absolutely NOT an "Is A or B better?" question. I simply believe the customer would enjoy a more fluid experience by making a choice to pick one and stick with it.
     
  2. C.S.J

    C.S.J Massive Poster

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    this forum is biased!
    yes, asking for lots of trouble.

    definatly NOT recommended.

    if the user is worried about pc security, choose an antivirus/suite and a HIPS solution such as Prevx/Defensewall/SafenSec/threatfire (free) etc.
     
  3. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    This is bad advice. It's not only an issue of speed, it's possibly an issue of priority contention which can ultimately create stability problems.

    Focus on what the underlying need is and make sure objectives were properly communicated. Is this a case of NIS being active with Avast configured for demand only? Frankly I don't know if that's even really possible and, if it is, the situation is still not desireable - too many chances of downstream problems developing.
    Correct, and as noted above, the opposite can be actually true. This is an example of how antimalware can create more havoc than the malware it's designed to handle.
    The two pronged set-up is likely a primary cause of the slowdowns. As for RAM, if XP, 1GB+ is a nice sweetspot
    Correct. Pick one, either one or an alternate, learn how it behaves, and stick with it. If the user is really worried about protection afforded by a single product such as NIS/Avast/whatever, read on. If not, stop here.

    I've noted this many times, but I'll note it again here..., one of the easiest methods to significantly improve the overall security of a system is to set the primary used account(s) as limited user accounts (LUA).

    Despite the protection afforded by this path, in the past I had been extremely reluctant to make this as a general recommendation since, to be perfectly honest, application programming practices rendered teh MS XP implementation of LUA often extremely inconvenient, at least in my hands (it depends on the application set you use). Augmenting LUA with SuRun has dealt with the virtually all of the issues. It's a very viable path now - despite the needs of applications that really shouldn't have those Admin level account needs.

    There's plenty of guidance available on implementation - I go with simple - all main users are LUA, I create a passworded SU account for infrequent Admin activity, password protect the built-in Administrator account you see in safe mode, and call it a day. You can add additional bells and whistles, but this is decent and robust protection for an average user - and no cost beyond the AV assuming you go for a paid version. The other thing I recommend as well - a cheap router even for a single PC, assuming a router/modem combo is not already in use.

    Blue
     
  4. AshG

    AshG Registered Member

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    Blue. thanks for helping with the explanation. I sat down with the customer and talked through things. I had a chance to speak with her tech - he told her he prefers Avast to Norton but that they're both good; somehow she took that to mean they're good together. I uninstalled Avast with her permission and the system is significantly faster. The customer is happy, too.
     
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