There’s a trend among suppliers of home internet security software to offer cover to two or three PCs or laptops with the same product. If you’re running a small business, though, you may need support for more than three machines and possibly a server, too. Enter Kaspersky Small Office Security (SOS), which offers five licenses for PCs and a one for a Windows server, all for around £100.

As far as installing Kaspersky Small Office Security is concerned, you use the same CD on each machine and Kaspersky’s site just counts the licenses. The main advantage of having security coverage for your server, as well as individual PCs on a network, is the ability to centralise control.

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The server implementation, which requires Windows Server 2003 and 2008, or Windows Small Business Server 2011 operating systems to be running, can be used to control web-use in a similar way to parental controls on home IS systems, but additionally with Kaspersky Small Office Security you can schedule scans, backups and the delivery of new passwords.

The main control screen is business-like, with a series of menu tabs down the left-hand side and details relevant to the selected tab in the pane on the right. The top of the screen is dominated by a big blue ‘eye’ showing that the machine is protected. If a scan finds a potentially hazardous item, it turns yellow and for a virus or other malware, it turns red.

Most attacks call up a secondary window with a Fix-It button, which removes or quarantines the detected file.

File backup is available for the folders and filetypes you select and can be directed to a local, removable or network drive, or an FTP server, though there’s no online storage included with the package. You can schedule the backup and control the number of backup copies stored.  There’s no partition or disk backup.

Other features include hard drive deletion for removing all data from a drive, an on-screen keyboard to defeat keyloggers and the ability to create a rescue disk, to clean a system after an attack, when Windows won’t boot.

A full system scan took 135 minutes on our test PC, which gives Kaspersky SOS one of the slower scanning engines. It was thorough, though, finding three infected files, one containing adware and some vulnerable programs; apps which are legal in themselves, but which have known vulnerabilities to attack.

There’s little noticeable performance hit with the Kaspersky program  in the background, unless it’s performing a scan. With a scan running, the PC took around 12 percent long to perform a video conversion, which shouldn’t be much of problem for most customers.

Recent tests by AV-Comparatives on the protection offered by Kaspersky, rated it Advanced+ on pro-active anti-virus detection and in its overall, ‘real world’, dynamic test. This puts it in the top tier of AV products.

The extra server functions offered in the program, such as web access control and global password maintenance, need longer to learn and setup than in less thorough IS applications. You don’t have to use all elements in the suite of course, if they’re not appropriate to your business.

Kaspersky Small Office Security: Specs

  • PC: Windows XP/Vista/7, 32/64 bit with 1GB/2GB RAM (256MB for XP), 500MB HD Server: Windows Server 2003/2008, Windows Small Business Server 2011, 512MB RAM
  • PC: Windows XP/Vista/7, 32/64 bit with 1GB/2GB RAM (256MB for XP), 500MB HD Server: Windows Server 2003/2008, Windows Small Business Server 2011, 512MB RAM


If you need a security product for a small business, particularly one which uses a network server to share data and applications, it makes sense to share your security provision , too. Kaspersky Small Office Security offers sensible consolidation and centralisation of security, while providing similar ease of use to the consumer product. It’s very good value.