SaaS 5.2. What a pile this upgrade is. Before continuing to read, please note that this is going to be a LONG rant. I've never experienced such chaos in an enterprise product as I have with SaaS 5.2.
We've been a "McAfee Total Protection" customer for years. I orginally chose McAfee about 10 years ago because in my testing, McAfee was the most transparent of all security suites. No slowdowns, no hiccups, and a "set and forget" type configuration. I've enjoyed being a McAfee customer - until SaaS 5.2.
Once my 40 workstations were plagued with this upgrade, my users productivity came to a screeching halt. Our .NET application, which is fully contained on an in-house, GIGABIT network was crawling. 20-28 seconds to load a web page. 15-18 seconds to return back to the previous, and low and behold, Task Manager shows MCSHIELD.EXE at 74% cpu on a Core2Duo 2.6Ghz machine. I won't even begin to explain how painful work was for our users that have older P4 HT machines. I could have sent them home for the day.
A call into support suggests that we change some settings on our policies. Apparently, a very high paying individual (developer) suggested that the CPU usage setting of the policy be set to "HIGH" by default. I'm suggesting he was "HIGH" at the time of this decision. Setting this to "VERY LOW" seemed to help a smidge, but it wasn't until I disabled everything but the On-Access-Scan that we were able to regain the performance that we had before 5.2.
McAfee support ended up completely re-creating the policy for us, as it was suggested that this was the problem. (Seems to be a catch-all solution....delete and recreate. Uninstall and Reinstall. Come on McAfee...this is GOLD support, not the local high school's help desk!)
A week or so goes by, and suddenly a new error is happening on our network. As people are logging off their machines at the end of the day, their roaming profiles are bombing out, because certain cookies could not be read. The specific error was "ACCESS DENIED".
Further investigation into this issue led me to .... MCAFEE. By default, "Potentially Unwanted Programs" contain default cookie entries to block. This normally wouldn't be a problem, but I believe the METHOD in which McAfee uses to block these cookies is very ****-poor. It seems as though McAfee is forcing the cookie to be CORRUPTED rather than just DELETING the cookie from the user's folder. This in turn creates network errors when trying to copy the profile back to the server.
Another point that I noticed while a support agent was controlling my machine - she had shut off the on-access-scanner from the SaaS Console on my workstation....and proceeded to tell me that it was Disabled. However, in viewing task manager, you could see that upon accessing files or websites, MCSHIELD continued to use CPU Cycles and generate I/O.
THE ONLY WAY TO TRULY DISABLE MCSHIELD.EXE IS TO STOP THE SERVICE FROM THE SERVICES MMC!!!!!
Today, it's a whole new realm. Printing to any of my network printers is slower than a camel walking through a snowstorm. 45 seconds to spool 20 pages? Let's see what's hampering us this morning when we print. Low and behold, there's MCSHIELD.EXE using 64% CPU while spooling a print job to a printer on the LAN. Amazing.
Folks, it's time to look another direction for your security needs. Clearly there are issues with McAfee's latest generation of products (at least their SaaS offering). Tech support is of no use, as their solution is just to uninstall/reinstall. Recreate the policy.
Upon renewal, I will NOT be renewing our company's contract with McAfee. We've shared our story with another security provider, and they've offered us a very competitive offer to switch over to them. I've demo'd their product both at home and in business situations, and the performance is second to none. Plus, their support department speaks ENGLISH natively. There are 23 other companies that I support/consult for that I will also be moving to this provider. These corporations value my opinion and experience, and require a solution that is simple, affordable, and allows them to get work done.
McAfee, it's been a fun 10 years. Thanks for the memories, and good luck to you in the future.