Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8
Strengths: Reporting, dashboarding and alerting. The addition of application monitoring really adds value.
Weaknesses: None noted.
Verdict: A feature-rich and strong management platform that is an excellent value for the money. This one is our Best Buy.
Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 provides a centralized solution for managing corporate network anti-virus security systems based on Kaspersky Lab applications included in Kaspersky Open Space Security products. Kaspersky Security Center 9.0 is supplied for free with all Kaspersky Lab applications included in Kaspersky Open Space Security. Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Windows provides centralized protection of Windows workstations and Windows servers from malware, potentially dangerous programs and network attacks.
The server software load requires Microsoft Windows Server 2003 or later, Microsoft SQL Server Standard or Express 2005/2008 and Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) 2.8 or later. The installation was very simple: we downloaded the software, ran it on our test server and were up and running in under 15 minutes. There is a quick-start wizard to walk admins through all the initial set up and configuration, licensing and alerting/SMTP settings. We had a separate download for the client side, the Endpoint Security v188.8.131.521. The client supports most Microsoft and Mac operating systems and Linux. There is also support for virtual machines. One can use the Kaspersky Security Center application to remotely install the solution on workstations and servers, set protection parameters, manage anti-malware updates, monitor security status and respond to events. Data exchange between client computers and Administration Server, as well as Administration Console connection to Administration Server, can be performed using the secure socket layer (SSL) protocol.
The management interface is provided by the Administration Console component. It is a specialized standalone snap-in that is integrated with Microsoft Management Console (MMC). The user interface is well done, clean and very simple to use. One has full Active Directory integration for importing and discovering endpoints or users can discover endpoints by IP scans. Along with anti-virus, Kaspersky has integrated application and device control and web content filtering to Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Windows. It benefits from an enhanced anti-virus engine and a range of optimization technologies designed to ensure an efficient use of workstation and server resources.
Reporting, dashboarding and alerting were all exceptional. The alerting was good on both the support and end-user side. Customers even have an integrated workflow to allow the end-user to request exceptions to policies for enabling certain application or device access. On the support side, alerting or triggers are configurable for events via email, Net Send or to launch an executable. A few key changes from the previous version include the addition of the application control, support for Windows failover clustering to support high availability configurations, and reporting and dashboarding updates.
Standard support is offered at no charge and includes phone help between 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST, and full access to a knowledge base and user forums. Additionally, for 12 percent of list price, users can upgrade to 24/7 phone support. Documentation is well done, detailed and easy to use.
This is a strong contender for endpoint protection and delivers a lot of protection at a good price point while being simple to deploy and manage.