Panda Security has announced the general availability of Panda Cloud Internet Protection (PCIP). Adding a new element to its cloud-based security offering makes Panda the first vendor to provide entirely cloud-based protection for endpoints, e-mail, and the Web for small and medium businesses (SMB's).
SMB's face the same threats, and have the same security concerns as larger enterprises, but they lack the personnel and budget to effectively guard against them. PCIP provides an effective security infrastructure to guard against Internet-borne threats with a low cost of ownership by leveraging resources in the cloud.
"SMBs increasingly have widely-distributed workforces, with employees accessing the Web from home offices, at client sites, while traveling, or in coffee shops," said Rick Carlson, president of US operations, Panda Security in a press release for PCIP. "The high vulnerability of these scattered Internet access points, coupled with highly-targeted cybercriminal methods, means that today's businesses absolutely require an Internet security service that can be managed remotely and deliver instantaneous protection without getting in the way of business."
PCIP delivers instant, unobtrusive protection of PC endpoints no matter where they are located--guarding against Internet-borne threats such as botnets, phishing attacks, and other socially-engineered Web 2.0 attacks. PCIP also features data leak prevention, policy enforcement, and powerful reporting features--providing SMB's with a comprehensive security platform.
The Web-based platform enables SMB IT administrators to easily and instantaneously adjust settings, filter URLs and regulate use of risky Internet applications, regardless of the user's device or location. Another benefit of PCIP is the unique ability to redirect Internet traffic and malware analysis through the cloud, freeing local network bandwidth for other applications.
Like Microsoft's new beta offering, Windows Intune, PCIP and the other components of Panda's Panda Cloud Protection framework--Panda Cloud Office Protection, and Panda Cloud Email Protection--save SMB's time and money by providing the backend infrastructure and eliminating costs and administration requirements. With the cloud-based backbone in place, customers are free to focus on managing and protecting the endpoints.
Like many readers, I am a little tired of the "cloud" as a buzzword. Every vendor is adding the word cloud to products and services to ride the wave of hype. However, that is not to say that there aren't significant financial and strategic benefits to be gained by leveraging cloud-based services.
The trick is that organizations need to be diligent about determining their own needs, and how to effectively address those needs, then put in the necessary time and effort to research options--cloud-based or otherwise--and find one that fits, rather than purchasing the first product with the word cloud in it.
The cloud provides an exceptional opportunity for SMB's though. Services like PCIP and the other elements of Panda Cloud Protection, or Windows Intune provide SMB's with access to an enterprise-class infrastructure and tools, but in a cost-effective way that fits in an SMB budget.
There is also an opportunity for IT consultancies to leverage Panda Cloud Protection, Windows Intune, and other cloud-based network management and security offerings and resell them. Smaller SMB's don't have the time or resources to even effectively manage the cloud-based service, and a reseller can take the cloud-based infrastructure and play middle-man by providing the administrator role as well.
Panda Cloud Internet Protection is available now through Panda authorized resellers and can be purchased either alone or as part of the Panda Cloud Protection suite. For more information and to download a free trial, go to http://cloudprotection.pandasecurity.com.