From Traditional AV to Security-as-Service

Over the past five years the anti-virus market has experienced tremendous growth with the advent of new technologies to adapt to current conditions. What was once a market consisting of a very few players has now evolved into a global enterprise consisting of dozens of companies with an assortment of anti-virus products varying in degrees of quality.

 

The global anti-virus market is forecast to grow substantially from now until 2010 with the introduction of emerging technologies (data loss prevention, virtualization security, security-as-a-service and many others).

 

However the market in its present state has changed: the technology behind

Anti-virus is highly inefficient when it comes to protecting against modernized threats. Considering that vendors are under a constant overload of unique malware that resulted in a breakdown in the quality and effectiveness of their underlying core technology.

 

This is evident in today’s high-profile security incidents. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (an organization that tracks incidents relating to exposure of confidential information) the number of recorded breaches more then doubled in the first quarter of 2008.

 

This problem is even more visible when you take into account the current application delivery model employed by various end-point technologies today.

 

This model introduces several challenges not only on the side of administration, management and ease of use, but to the degree necessary to provide an adequate level of protection against zero-day, zero-hour, and zero-minute threats.

 

This traditional model is described as follows:

 

* Upgrades require time and effort to implement leaving a dangerous window of opportunity to become infected. Remarkably true if the upgrade includes engine revisions to detect new strains of malware.

 

* Enterprise protection suites require deployment of a dedicated management infrastructure that in some cases will require additional hardware.

 

* Some end-point protection suites that use a policy driven system are particularly complex to manage and maintain, therefore; the total cost of ownership will increase overtime.

 

* Anti-malware intelligence has traditionally resided on the end-point, thus, the trade-off between security and resource consumption has always been a challenge. The memory and CPU foot-print is directly proportional to the size of the signature file. Therefore; the growth of new threats will directly affect the user’s experience.

 

On average the foot-print for leading products is anywhere from 100MB to 150MB depending on the modules enabled (i.e. firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam, host intrusion prevention, etc).

 

* Most end-point products on the market today have a very narrow short sighted view of the threat-landscape and do not provide protection for all malware currently in circulation and affecting users.

 

* Nodes do not share intelligence amongst themselves, thus, reducing the overall efficiency to detect and prevent against targeted attacks.

 

When we look at this further the SMB market will be affected the most. This introduces significant challenges for SMBs who have tight budgets for security. This is especially true as they do not necessarily have the expertise or the resources in-house to manage and administer complex anti-malware solutions.

 

The best alternative that an SMB can take when it comes to security is out-sourcing their services to a hosted infrastructure and adopting a Security-as-a-Service model. This helps reduce complexity and time to market when implementing new security technologies and will not require a high degree of skill to maintain the solution.

 

Security-as-Service revolves around the concept known as Software-as-Service. SaaS changes the way that applications are currently delivered to customers by hosting the applications “in the cloud” and providing a web interface to interact with them; whereas before software had to be installed directly within the customer’s premise.

 

Customers of a SaaS solution benefit from real-time up-to-minute content provided on a continuous basis through a subscription model making life a lot easier.

 

Therefore; it’s my pleasure to announce Panda Security for Managed Office Protection.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/California/2008/05/19/LAM041

 

 

 

 

 

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