Panda Security Inc. is still aboard the advanced threat bandwagon with the beta launch of its Panda Cloud Office Protection Advanced 6.50. The latest version includes ramped up features to detect zero-day vulnerabilities and other advanced malware. It’s billed as one of the first cloud-based endpoint solutions equipped with Exchange Server protection.
The biggest channel hook will be the anti-exploit technologies, designed to detect and eradicate malware that exploits zero-day vulnerabilities. The technology, which relies on the firm’s Collective Technology capabilities, analyzes behavior to identify and block notorious Blackhole and Redkit exploit malware.
Upgraded URL features offer proactive detection and better reporting capabilities, which enable channel partners to better drill down into compliance, reporting and pre-auditing offerings, along with application control and other standard services.
The beta release is compatible with the new messaging platform Exchange Server 2013, as well as Windows 8 and Windows 2012 Server.
The Spain-based security firm’s latest release, while incremental, is another sign traditional anti-malware’s time has come and gone. The New York Times and other media have highlighted growing inadequacies and failings around traditional signature-based antivirus. Granted, the degree of accuracy in many of the reports is often a matter of question. However, the net-net is an altered — and likely irreversible — perception that antivirus alone can’t defeat modern threats. A rapidly swelling critical mass of users are demanding elevated features that include threat analytics, security intelligence, anti-exploit and zero-day capabilities with Big Data features.
The demand has merit. It’s well known security threats have evolved to be evasive and sophisticated. And the ability to dodge most antivirus solutions is status quo. Panda Security has benefited from its status as a cloud endpoint provider, which for years gave the firm a market edge.
But that edge could be dulling. In recent months, Panda has faced stiff competition from industry peers not only vying for a bigger share of the cloud security and services market, but upping the ante with evolved features that can more effectively combat advanced threats. Last fall, direct cloud security competitor Trend Micro Inc. launched its “Custom Defense” solution, which leverages intelligence and threat analytics to better detect advanced persistent threats and other targeted malware.
Meanwhile, established security firms face swelling ranks of cloud start-ups, such as newbie TaaSERA, that are getting in on the ground floor with advanced cloud security technology.
For now, advanced threat capabilities still represent a channel differentiator that can give partners a viable boost when making inroads with customers. The capabilities touted in Panda’s offerings are well on the road to being standard issue. Endpoint security vendors and their respective channel partners will have to stay on their toes to remain competitive.
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