Changes to Symantec antivirus software
Symantec has changed its license agreement with Mason and will no longer offer the antivirus software for employees to use on non-Mason owned computers. Employees must remove the antivirus software from their personally owned computers by Thursday, May 31, 2018.
This change does not affect students. Employees enrolled in classes remain eligible to download the software for free.
Information Technology Services will continue to provide Symantec antivirus software for Mason-owned computers.
Employees are encouraged to continue using antivirus software to protect their personally owned computers. Mason recommends these free options:
For Windows: Avast, AVG, Sophos, Microsoft Windows Defender
For Mac: Avast, AVG, Sophos
If you need assistance related to antivirus, contact the ITS Support Center at 703-993-8870 or via email at email@example.com.
What is Symantec Endpoint Protection 14?
What to Expect
How to Get the Upgrade
What is Symantec Endpoint Protection 14?
Symantec Endpoint Protection for Windows and Macintosh is available to George Mason University-owned systems and student systems. It combines technologies from previous Symantec products such as:
Antivirus and antispyware: Antivirus and antispyware scans detect viruses and other security risks, including spyware, adware, and other files, that can put a computer or a network at risk.
Personal firewall: The Symantec Endpoint Protection firewall provides a barrier between the computer and the Internet, preventing unauthorized users from accessing the computers and networks. It detects possible hacker attacks, protects personal information, and eliminates unwanted sources of network traffic.
Intrusion prevention: The Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) is the Symantec Endpoint Protection client's second layer of defense after the firewall. The intrusion prevention system is a network-based system. If a known attack is detected, one or more intrusion prevention technologies can automatically block it.
Proactive threat scanning: Proactive threat scanning uses heuristics to detect unknown threats. Heuristic process scanning analyzes the behavior of an application or process to determine if it exhibits characteristics of threats, such as Trojan horses, worms, or keyloggers. This type of protection is sometimes referred to as zero-day protection.
Kernel-level rootkit protection: Symantec Endpoint Protections expands rootkit protection to detect and repair kernel-level rootkits. Rootkits are programs that hide from a computer's operating system and can be used for malicious purposes.
Enhanced Live Update: LiveUpdate now supports the downloading and installation of a wide variety of content, including definitions, signatures, and whitelists to prevent false positives, engines, security patches for client vulnerabilities, and product updates.
Mason will provide two different configurations: Mason-owned systems managed by Information Technology Services and Unmanaged for Mason-owned systems not managed by ITS and students and personal systems.
Mason-owned systems (Managed): This configuration is for those on the MESA domain (Windows systems), Casper (Macs) and remote access users (VPN). Systems managed in MESA will receive updates automatically and these systems will be preconfigured with best practices configurations. Users with Mac systems can find the update in Casper's Self Service. Users with Mason-owned machines that are not in MESA or Casper should follow the instructions for unmanaged systems.
Mason-owned systems not managed by ITS and student systems (Unmanaged): This is for Mason-owned systems not managed by ITS, and students systems used by the Mason community. Users will have the ability to adjust the features provided. However, clients will be responsible for maintaining configuration if they make any changes to the default settings.
What to Expect
Users managed in MESA (Windows) will automatically be upgraded to the new version. Users connected to Casper (Macs) can get the update in Casper's Self Service. Mason-owned Macs can be enrolled in Casper at
mac.gmu.edu. It is recommended that Macs be enrolled in Casper to receive automatic updates in the future. Those not connected to the MESA or Casper will have to manually download the new client, which is now available on the IT Services web site at
itservices.gmu.edu/downloads/Antivirus-Information.cfm or at
New systems and rebuilt systems will come with SEP 14 already installed.
For further information and any questions regarding how-to instructions, please contact the Information Technology Services Support Center at 703-993-8870 or via e-mail at
If you are a Systems Administrator, please contact the IT Security Office at 703-993-2906 or
firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
How to get the Upgrade
For Windows: Users with Mason-owned Windows machines, managed by Information Technology Services through MESA, will receive the update automatically on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017. Machines will receive a pop-up requiring installation of the update. The pop-up will look like this:
After installation, users will get a second pop-up requesting them to restart their computers before the close of business. The pop-up will look like this:
For Macs: Mac users, whose systems are managed by ITS through Casper, should log into the Self Service to get the update and follow the prompts. (If the Mac is Mason-owned, it can be enrolled in Casper at
mac.gmu.edu. It is recommended that the Mac be enrolled in Casper to receive automatic updates in the future.) This is what the update looks like:
Unmanaged systems and student systems: Computer users with unmanaged systems can manually download the latest unmanaged version from
Information about the download is available at
itservices.gmu.edu/downloads/Antivirus-Information.cfm. Assistance is also available from the ITS Support Center at
email@example.com or by calling 703-993-8870.