Kaspersky Lab on Wednesday made its bid to reduce the complexity associated with managing IT security processes in corporate environments, with a new product that combines the company's anti-malware technology with new mobile and system management tools.
Kaspersky has historically been known as one of the top antivirus vendors in the world, but this release is about the company spreading its wings and adding significantly more functionality to its business product, said Mark Bermingham, senior product marketing manager at the company. That functionality includes data encryption, mobile device management, system and application deployment, vulnerability scanning and automated patch management, all of which can be controlled from a single management console.
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Called Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business the new product is available in three base configurations: Core, Select and Advanced. However, the underlying platform has a modular architecture which allows these configurations to be expanded according to individual customer needs.
The Core version provides anti-malware protection and a firewall and is suitable for customers who just need protection from malware threats.
The Select configuration includes everything in the Core version, but adds application control with dynamic whitelisting, system device control and Web control features. This version also includes a security agent for mobile devices and provides MSM (mobile device management) capabilities through the central management console.
The MDM functionality helps companies respond to the challenge of employees using their personal mobile devices for work purposes while at the same time ensuring that sensitive business data remains secure. When MDM is enabled, business data like corporate emails is stored in a special container on a mobile device that separates it from the user's personal data, Bermingham said. IT administrators can then control what applications can access the data, can encrypt it, or can wipe it remotely if the device is lost, he said.
The Advanced configuration of the new Kaspersky Endpoint Security product further adds data encryption and system management capabilities to the features offered in the Select version.
The encryption functionality uses the 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and is completely transparent to users, Bermingham said. It can be used to protect entire system drives, peripheral and removable devices, as well as individual files and folders.
The system management tools allow administrators to automate OS and application deployments, manage licenses, define and enforce NAC (network admission control) policies, run vulnerability scans, prioritize and deploy security patches and remotely administer computers.
There's also a fourth version of the product called Kaspersky Total Security for Business which in addition to endpoint security provides protection for Web, mail and collaboration servers.
With the Endpoint Security for Business product, Kaspersky is offering the ability to control a diverse range of system security and management technologies from a single administration console, Bermingham said. These technologies already exist in different products available on the market, but it can be overwhelming for a system administrator to manage them individually, he said.
The key market segment targeted with the release is small and medium sized businesses, because these companies usually lack the financial and human resources to acquire and manage separate products for specific processes. However, there's no reason why the product wouldn't attract large enterprise customers as well, Bermingham said.