Kaspersky Lab: New Light Agent Virtualization Security Unites Performance and Protection

4215Within Kaspersky Lab Security Analyst Summit for the Middle East, Turkey and Africa held on 21-24 April 2014 in Budapest, Hungary, Kaspersky Lab has announced its latest virtualization security solution, which delivers advanced protection for the VMware, Citrix, Microsoft virtualization platforms. Kaspersky Security for Virtualization | Light Agent is available in the Middle East starting April 22 and in Africa and Turkey - in the first days of May.

The new light agent technology is Kaspersky Lab’s first ever security solution optimized specifically for Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer customers, and will provide VMware customers with a choice of agentless or light-agent protection. The protection and performance benefits of Kaspersky Lab’s light agent solution offer the “best of both worlds” over existing agentless and agent-based virtualization security models.

“Driven by the research of our security experts, we’re on a mission to educate businesses about virtualization security risks, and provide them with options for protecting their network,” said Nikolay Grebennikov, Chief Technology Officer, Kaspersky Lab. “There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for any network, so by offering a combination of virtualization security options for the three largest virtual platforms in the world, Kaspersky Lab is ensuring our customers stay protected while getting the most from their virtualization investment.”

Most companies these days have to take a decision in their approach to virtualization security: either they sacrifice performance or protection. Agentless security models offer performance advantages by performing every security task away from the virtual machine in a dedicated virtual appliance. However this limits the software’s ability to perform advanced security management and network protection tasks on virtual endpoints. Conversely, “agent-based” protection (installing ‘normal’ security solutions on each virtual machine (VM)) wastes computing resources – which is what virtualization seeks to eliminate in the first place – and can reduce the consolidation ratio of virtual machines and the overall ROI of a virtualization project.

Problems like the “instant-on gap” can cause serious issues in the agent-based approach. The instant-on gap is the window of time between a virtual machine being created, and the latest security update being downloaded to each virtual machine. Until these updates are processed the virtual machine is vulnerable.

With Kaspersky Lab’s new light agent model, almost all resource-intensive security processing is performed by a dedicated virtual appliance at the hypervisor level. By channeling virtualized network traffic and files through this up-to-date appliance, VMs are fully protected with the latest security updates as soon as they are created. The need to push redundant copies of anti-malware databases across the network to each VM is also eliminated. Kaspersky Lab’s intelligent scanning ensures the same file is not scanned multiple times, freeing up additional system resources. It includes all of the security capabilities found in Kaspersky Lab’s agentless solution, including heuristic file analysis, and cloud-assisted intelligence via the Kaspersky Security Network, for real-time information on emerging threats and malicious applications.

Kaspersky Security for Virtualization | Light Agent includes a small software agent on each virtual machine, very different from the resource-hogging software found in the traditional agent-based model. This small agent offers big security capabilities, allowing Kaspersky Security for Virtualization | Light Agent to put the full power of Kaspersky Lab’s security expertise to work guarding a virtual network, and can be deployed without rebooting.

Kaspersky Lab will continue to offer Kaspersky Security for Virtualization | Agentless – currently available only for VMware environments – as an effective solution for data centers or server environments that don’t access the Internet, and situations where steadily-high consolidation ratios and automatic protection of every new VM are paramount.

Using the Kaspersky Security Center administration console, Kaspersky Security for Virtualization (both Agentless and Light Agent) is managed from the same screen as Kaspersky Lab’s security solutions for physical machines. This gives IT managers a complete view of the physical and virtual network for managing security challenges and accomplishing daily administration tasks, without the need to toggle different interfaces.

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