Understanding Antivirus Protection
Applies to: Office 365 for professionals and small businesses, Office 365 for enterprises, Live@edu, Forefront Online Protection for Exchange
Topic Last Modified: 2012-04-23
Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) offers multi-layered virus protection using multiple scan engines that are designed to catch 100% of all known viruses.
|For Microsoft Exchange Online customers, anti-virus scanning is performed by Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server (FPE) on the Exchange Online servers rather than by FOPE. This ensures that all inbound, outbound, and internal messages for Exchange Online customers are scanned for viruses in a consistent manner. The 100 percent protection against all known email viruses SLA still applies to Exchange Online customers.|
FOPE utilizes the following options to help provide anti-virus protection.
FOPE uses a layered approach to protect both inbound and outbound email from known and unknown threats. By taking advantage of partnerships with industry-leading providers of anti-virus technologies, FOPE uses multiple anti-virus engines to help protect against viruses and other email threats. The anti-virus engines include powerful heuristic detection to provide protection even during the early stages of a virus outbreak. The multi-engine approach has been shown to provide significantly more protection than using just one anti-virus engine.
During some virus outbreaks, the FOPE anti-malware team may have enough information about a virus or other form of malware to write sophisticated policy rules that detect the threat even before a signature is available from any of the anti-virus engines used by the service. These rules are published to the global network every 2 hours to provide your organization with an extra layer of protection against attacks.
The FOPE team maintains close relationships with partners who develop anti-virus engines, integrating each anti-virus engine at the application programming interface (API) level. As a result, Fast Anti-virus Signature Deployment receives and integrates virus signatures and patches before they are publicly released; often, its connection with the anti-virus partners allows it to develop virus remedies. The service checks for updated virus signatures for all anti-virus engines every 15 minutes and applies them in minutes to the global filtering network.