McAfee announced its first cloud-based malware protection software. Called “SaaS Web Protection” the software promises to offer traditional reporting and protection capabilities malware, spam, trojans and other Internet-borne threats. However, there is no local installation required.
McAfee’s approach appears to be a natural evolution of malware services as corporations are used to managed antivirus services for many years. However, moving malware protection entirely to the cloud is a big step nevertheless. McAfee hopes that its network services will convince corporation to sign up: “Most organizations are not adequately protected and they are spending large sums of money recovering from attacks,” the company wrote in its press release. “Industry-leading protection is mandatory for companies to continue to safely take advantage of Web 2.0 solutions.”
As other cloud services, the new product promises to reduce upfront costs and streamline the overall maintenance effort. Plus, the service is available immediately as no hardware or software needs to be actually deployed.
SaaS Web Protection is marketed as an enterprise-class service at this time. But there is really no reason why cloud antivirus services would not be available for the consumer today. Aren’t we paying a yearly fee for a renewal of malware protection service already? Wouldn’t a cloud service make such a service much more convenient?
Amazon EC2 Gets Intrusion Prevention
More security options for cloud services are a logical new step for cloud services as more users are stepping up to the cloud – including government agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau. I already wroteabout McAfee, but Sourcefire is actually offering a security service that works inside the cloud to protect your cloud assets.
Sourcefire’s new product is based on its widely known Snort, which is now available through the Amazon Elastic Cloud (EC2). According to the developer, the service enables users to “proactively monitor network activity for malicious behavior and provide automated responses.” We have done some pretty excitingprojects based on Amazon EC2 and we have high expectations from future security solutions.
Snort apparently has about 285,000 users already and has become a common tool for intrusion prevention, which is largely supported by the open source community. The cloud version, which is made available as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI), can be updated by downloading new machine images.