Thursday, June 3, 2010

Panda Security upgrades cloud-based anti-malware service to include auto updates

As more computing functions continue to exploit cloud delivery models, security issues remain a key concern. But the cloud also continues to be the solution to its own problem.

Extending it's cloud-based PC security and anti-malware services, Panda Security today moved to help further alleviate malware fears by expanding its free offerings to include a paid version that automates the updates and upgrades to the service. [Disclosure: Panda Security is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Dubbed Panda Cloud Antivrus Pro, the new edition works to protect computer users online and offline by extending the protections in the free product launched last year. The Free Edition is still available and also offers enhanced functions, while the Pro Edition sells for $29.95 and offers both automated updates as well as support benefits and other features.

Minimal performance impact

Besides being a popular free cloud security service for home users (about 10 million consumers have downloaded the free version to date), Panda Antivirus pushes another attention-getting message: minimal impact on computing performance. That has helped bring the service into use among SOHO, SMB and even some enterprise users.

Panda Antivirus relies on a proprietary technology for automatically collecting and processing millions of malware samples in the cloud, rather than locally on the consumer’s PC. The technology and method, called Collective Intelligence, can swiftly ID and thwart malware as it appears anywhere on the Internet and then update the clients with the fix.

Because the processing is largely done via cloud-based data centers, the client-bourn antivirus software uses a mere 15MB of RAM compared with the 60MB of RAM traditional signature-based antivirus products typically use. It also puts a loss less workload on the processor(s).

Panda Security is pushing the speed superiority of its Collective Intelligence platform in protecting PCs against both known and unknown malware. The company points to recent tests by that compared leading antivirus programs. In those tests, Panda Cloud Antivirus outperformed the average zero day detection score of competitors by 42.5 percent, said Panda.

New functions and features

The Free Edition of Panda Cloud Antivirus offers some advanced configurations that let users customize certain features, like behavioral blocking and analysis, to meet the requirements of their systems. The Free Edition now also includes a behavioral blocker that protects against new malware and targeted attacks, as well as self-protection of antivirus files and configurations that prevent targeted malware attacks from disabling the software.

The Pro Edition offers all that and more, including automatic upgrades and automatic vaccination of USB and hard drives to eliminate the possibility of transmitting infections while users are offline and/or physically mobile. The Pro Edition also offers dynamic behavioral analysis to add a additional layer of protection by analyzing running processes and blocking any malicious behavior.
BriefingsDirect contributor Jennifer LeClaire provided editorial assistance and research on this post. She can be reached at and
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