Kaspersky Previews Anti-malware for VMware Environments

by Pedro Hernandez

Security software provider secures virtual machines running Windows and hints at markets beyond VMware.

Kaspersky unveiled its first virtual machine security product for VMware environments.

Straightforwardly called Kaspersky Security for Virtualization, the software is a virtual security appliance that integrates with VMware's vShield Endpoint and works with VMware View 4.5, vSphere 5.0, ESX/ESX 4.1 and 5.0, vCenter Server 5.0, vShield App 1.0, vShield Edge 1.0.

According to the computer security company, the aim is to extend malware protection to Windows virtual machines without adding management complexity to already elaborate virtual environments. The key word is automation.

All-in-One Management

The product maps logical and physical computing resources, extends agent-less protection to new virtual machines, and rolls out security updates -- all automatically. Agent-less protection is extended to virtual machines running most Windows operating systems of modern vintage. These include Windows Server 2008/R2 and Windows Server 2003, plus their desktop cousins Widows 7, Vista and XP.

In an attempt to dissolve the configuration barriers between virtual and physical systems -- at least where security management is concerned -- the company is hailing seamless, unified security administration over both types of IT assets through its Kaspersky Security Center management dashboard. With this approach, security admins can apply customized policies to groups of virtual machines using the Security Center administration console, much like they would for their physical systems.

Another benefit, said Kaspersky, is unhindered virtual machine performance.

Thanks to vShield integration -- VMware's security services platform for virtual environments -- and the fact that the software runs as its own virtual appliance, the overhead typically devoted to securing endpoints is offloaded from virtual machines. This can also lead to trimmer, cost- and energy-saving hardware requirements, according to the company.

Beyond VMware?

Kaspersky Security for Virtualization is just a taste of what's to come, said the company's Chief Product Officer, Petr Merkulov. "This is only the beginning of our partnership, as we plan to develop more functionality with the VMware API, along with the ability to isolate any infected virtual machines before malware can spread across the network," he stated.

Merkulov also hinted at a product roadmap of virtual security products that target platforms other than VMware's. "This is only the beginning for Kaspersky Lab’s virtual security offerings as we expand our functionality across all popular virtualization platforms."

Kaspersky Security for Virtualization will be publicly available on April 16, 2012.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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This article was originally published on Tuesday Feb 14th 2012
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