Server 2008 R2 AntiVirus & remote desktop connections


I use a Server 2008 R2 Enterprise machine which is used solely to allow my customers to remotely connect using remote desktop connection. When they log in, the application is started and when the close the application they logged off the server. They never see a desktop (drive mapping is turned off my default, so they need to ask me for that feature if they need it) or anything other than my application.

I'm looking for recommendations on a basic antivirus program to protect the server. I'm currently using Microsoft Security Essentials. I'm not sure, given the limited access given to my customers if something more powerful than MSE is needed.


Best Answer

I used to manage a decent size (ranged from 100-200 computers/users at a time depending on the economy) health organization that had a large Remote Desktop Services environment. We used 3 RDSH servers, 1 RD Broker, and 1 RD Gateway. All virtual machines and all roles were separate, not that that matters. We did a lot of research on antivirus providers because of how important the right one was to us since it would be affecting a large portion of the user base. Here is my real world experience:

1) MSE is ok, but not great. It serves a very basic purpose in protecting against some threats but isn't great from a mass management standpoint. What I mean by this, is that it doesn't provide a very granular management system to be able to exclude certain locations/items on the OS or give very much control over individual policies.

2) We ended up going with GFI's Vipre for Business and I'd highly recommend it to you for several reasons:

a) It can exclude things from scanning all the way from large directories/folders, all the way down to individual files

b) It can apply multiple policies per user/computer (I know you only have 1 server, but in your case you've got multiple users) and these policies are very granular; they have a lot of tweaking you can do to get just the right result.

c) Vipre is very affordable and I remember us paying somewhere around 78 cents per license

d) Their tech support is not only mainlaind (USA) support, but also very knowledgeable and very easy to work with

e) They tailor one of their policies/packages specifically for Terminal/Remote Desktop environments and enhanced performance for that

You may not NEED something more than MSE as you mentioned in your original post, but you will have better results in the long run and a lot more control over what you want your AV to do.

Please let me know if you need any further info.

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