Kaspersky Lab has made a bold entry into enterprise virtualisation with the launch of its new Light Agent Technology, which offers advanced protection across VMWare, Citrix and Microsoft platforms.
It is Kaspersky's first security solution which is optimised specifically for Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer customers.
It also provides VMware customers with a choice of agentless or light-agent protection.
Kaspersky A/NZ managing director, Andrew Mamonitis, told ARN the new technology would be targeting organisations with about 250-500 seats and coincided with the launch of a new partner program.
"We have launched our partners program recently and we do have a strategy for partner acquisition," he said.
"We are just going through the process of cleansing and taking on new partners.
"The demand for this (product) has been exceptional so we are pushing it very hard."
Kaspersky's major distributors include Hemisphere Technologies and Whitegold Solutions.
Mamonitis said the company had seen success in the education and government sectors, which had snowballed recently.
"We are finding we are getting partners who are very focused on Kaspersky products rather than the partners that are selling our competitors products," he said.
Mamonitis said the protection and performance benefits of Kaspersky Lab's Light Agent solution offered the 'best of both worlds' over existing agentless and agent-based virtualisation security models. "We're excited to be bringing to the local market our new Light Agent approach to virtualization," he said.
"This latest offering responds to the need for a solution which works confidently with the different combinations and platforms required of a modern, agile business environment, whilst maintaining optimal security." It includes a full suite of security capabilities, including heuristic file analysis and cloud-assisted intelligence via the Kaspersky Security Network for real-time information on emerging threats and malicious applications. The new solution also brings extra security features to virtualisation environments, including application controls and web usage policy enforcement; as well as device controls and Host-based Intrusion Prevention Systems (HIPS) and Firewall. Using the Kaspersky Security Center administration console, it is managed from the same screen as Kaspersky Lab's security solutions for physical machines.
This gives IT managers a complete view of the physical and virtual network for managing security challenges and accomplishing daily administration tasks, without the need to toggle different interfaces.
Kaspersky Lab A/NZ pre sales engineer, Wayne Kirby, said the new product offered all the protection without sacrificing performance.
He said Kaspersky developed all new technology itself through extensive research and development, rather than acquiring the technology from another company.
"All of our products are built from the same base code," he said.
"They are integrated into our security centre control, the Kaspersky security centre.
"There have been some major improvements especially with our network agent which has been dramatically improved."
Independent tester AV-TEST performed a comparative review, published in May 2014, of three purpose-built security solutions for virtual environments to analyse their capabilities to protect against real world and prevalent malware, as well as their performance impact in virtual environments.
The products under test were Kaspersky Security for Virtualization | Light Agent; Symantec Endpoint Security; and Trend Micro Deep Security. Each solution was evaluated in a Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor environment.
AV-TEST determined that Kaspersky had a 40 per cent lower impact on system performance than Symantec, and 65 per cent lower than Trend Micro.
When comparing the virtual machine startup times against a baseline measurement, Symantec's offering delayed the boot time of virtual machines by an average of three times longer than with no security software; Trend Micro delayed virtual machine startup time by four times the baseline. AV-TEST chief executive, Maik Morgenstern, said the value started to diverge when there were 10 and more virtual machines.
"Speaking about boot times, it took the 25th virtual machine with Trend Micro twice as much time as the virtual machine with Kaspersky Lab's solution and four times as much as the baseline."