Anti-Virus Giant Kaspersky Labs Seeks American SMB Audience

When facing an epidemic, the sooner medical professionals distribute vaccines and inoculate the population, the sooner everyone is protected from disease. And while not nearly so dramatic, that strategy holds true when it comes to fighting the viruses, Trojans and spyware that attack and infect desktops and servers across the world.

Kaspersky Labs, a 15-year old company that you’ve probably never heard of, has announced Kaspersky Anti-Virus Business Optimal 5.0, the company’s first consumer-branded anti-virus software in the U.S. And while the Woburn, Mass.-based company’s not a household name, it has over 75 million customers around the world and many U.S. security companies use Kaspersky’s anti-virus engine in their products.

According to Steve Orenberg, the company’s president, just about all anti-virus vendors have the ability to handle computer attacks, so it’s important to look for differentiating factors when shopping for the right anti-virus software. “The technology gap between vendors is fairly narrow,” he said. “So the service aspect carries more weight. You need to consider other criteria such as a vendor’s response time and how often they release fixes.”

Response Time
Viruses can spread around the world in a matter of hours, so the speed with which security vendors detect new viruses and threats &#151 and how quickly they get the remedies out to customers &#151 is a valid concern.

“We offer the best response time in the industry,” said Orenberg. “On average, we can detect, disinfect and administer the antidote for viruses, spyware, Trojans and spam in less than two hours &#151 compared to 12 hours for Symantec and 10 hours for McAfee.”

The security industry distributes updates of the latest viral fixes through a process called a vendor release schedule, and the schedule varies for each vendor. “Some companies release fixes once or twice a day, others once a week,” said Orenberg. “We’re the only company that releases automated updates every hour &#151 no other company in the industry comes close to that.”

Kaspersky Labs maintains a separate team that works exclusively on developing proprietary technologies to detect viruses and distribute updates &#151 a fact that Orenberg said gives them the speed advantage over other anti-virus companies.

Orenberg said that although Business Optimal 5.0 can scale up to protect 10,000 servers and desktops, the company designed the software for SMBs. It includes the Kaspersky Administration Kit, centralized management tools that eases installation and simplifies monitoring and updating viruses and other malware across the network.

“The software is easy to use, deploy and manage,” he said. “Centralized management tools make it easy to protect workstations, file servers, mail systems and Internet gateways.”

Business Optimal 5.0 covers the following product categories and platforms:

  • Workstation Protection: Windows & Linux
  • File Server Protection: Windows, Novell NetWare, Linux, xBSD, Samba
  • Mail Server Protection: MS Exchange Server, Lotus Notes/Domino, Unix Mail Servers
  • Gateway: MS ISA Server, Linux/Unix Gateway, CheckPoint

Kaspersky sells its software &#151 starting with a five-seat license &#151 for a $255 flat rate. Annual maintenance costs an additional 40 percent of the original purchase price and includes telephone support, upgrades and signature updates.

“At the end of the day,” said Orenberg, knowing that your company is up-to-date and current against computer threats is as important a criterion as anything else.”

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of

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