Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Panda Security strengthens SaaS-based PC virus protection solution for SMBs

As the whirlwind of economic pressures and heightened concerns for security push small and medium -sized businesses (SMB) toward software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions, Panda Security has delivered added functionality to the cause with Managed Office Protection (MOP) 5.03.

Panda, with North American operations in Glendale, CA, allows individual companies as well as value added resellers (VARs) to deploy and extend its hosted security services, which originally launched in May 2008. Panda says its solution can be more than 50 percent more efficient than traditional endpoint security software.

I expect that SMBs will be more likely to seek a full package of PC support services via third parties. Those third parties will want to deliver help desk, software management, patch management and -- now -- security as a full service, cloud-based offering.

By adding the Web-based Panda SaaS security benefits, branded under the third parties, the hassle and cost of managing each desktop on premises drops significantly. And it allows the SMBs to get closer to their goal of no IT department, or at least a majority of IT support gained as a service.

Enhancements to Panda's MOP, include:
  • Optimized management of end devices through a new Web-based management console that allows administrators to resolve deployment challenges from one centralized dashboard from on any computer with an Internet connection.

  • Increased reporting flexibility that allows administrators to select from an expanded set of security reports, including executive, activity and detection reports.

  • Easier software deployment, which allows IT managers to leverage automatic uninstallers along with unique MAC addresses, facilitating personalized security settings for each end-device.

  • Simplified computer management that allows offline handling of exported files.

  • Improved client network status control, which allows VARs providing security services to SMB clients to have remote access via the service provider administration console, where they can centrally manage any update on every device in the client network.
The appeal of using a SaaS solution for security is that for cash-strapped companies it eliminates high startup and capital equipment costs, as well as the necessity to hire and train personnel to run the application. Also, it facilitates updates and patches, allowing them to be deployed quickly and easily.

The channel and PC support third parties gain a more complete package of services, while letting their partner, in this case Panda, pick up the security and on-going threats response requirements.

Another benefit comes from today's highly mobile workforce. Administrators are increasingly concerned with managing laptops belonging to traveling employees. A SaaS-based device support solution allows administrators to monitor and configure anti-malware software no matter what the employee's location.

In a recent study, Panda Security compared its SaaS product to three different traditional security products. The study found that using a SaaS product could be more than 50 percent less expensive over a two-year period than using the traditional products, when you consider staffing costs, capital expenditures, and deployment costs.

Panda MOP is available immediately in licenses sold by the seat in one- to three-year subscription packages. More information is available from

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