037: How do I update my Symantec Endpoint Protection "definition files" and scanning engine?

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037: How do I update my Symantec Endpoint Protection "definition files" and scanning engine?

Antivirus "definition files" -- also known as "deffiles," "strings," or "signature files" -- allow antivirus software to spot the telltale signatures of known viruses. These files must be kept up to date to provide protection against newly discovered viruses. Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) definition files are updated daily by Symantec, or even more often if a new threat has been identified. The scanning engine (the antivirus program itself) is also updated occasionally, generally a couple of times per year.

For many Mines computers, the update process is automatic. In "managed" SEP installations -- the kind of installation generally performed by CCIT staff on school-owned computers in offices and labs -- the software will periodically update itself and no further user intervention is required. The software and updates are "managed" by CCIT servers dedicated to the task.

For home installations (or installations on school-owned laptops, which may travel off campus and outside the range of our servers), the software is often installed "unmanaged." This means that the user should manually update the antivirus software on a regular basis (daily would be ideal, but a weekly update provides a good balance between convenience and security).

To see what kind of SEP installation you have, start the program. In Windows, double-click on the gold shield in the taskbar at the bottom-right of the desktop. In Mac OS X, find the program in the Applications folder (under "Symantec Solutions"). Now look for the LiveUpdate button. If the button is grayed-out, you likely have a managed installation. If the button is live, click it to update your antivirus signatures (and repeat this operation periodically).

For further information on the LiveUpdate process, follow the links on the Symantec Endpoint Protection (http://ccit.mines.edu/CCIT-Antivirus) page to access step-by-step instructions.

If you are not able to get the automated updates to work for you, please submit a support request to Mines Help Center (http://helpdesk.mines.edu) or visit the Mines Help Center Technology Support Center in CT156 (the Computer Commons) and someone will assist you.



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