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Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud review: Merciless against malware

Easily managed and good value, Kaspersky is a great choice for small businesses

Price
£405 exc VAT per year (10 users)
  • Straightforward deployment
  • Generous licensing
  • Great protections
  • Cloud discovery can be a little slow

Kaspersky offers an endpoint protection answer for every business. Large firms that want total control can choose its on-site Endpoint Security for Business products, while smaller companies that don’t want to run their own host server have two cloud-managed solutions to choose from.

We tested Kaspersky’s Endpoint Security Cloud, which is managed entirely from a cloud portal and protects ten to 150 Windows systems and Macs. Licensing is flexible, with each user licence supporting one workstation, laptop or server, plus two iOS or Android mobile devices.

The standard service includes protection against all types of malware and ransomware, a client firewall, a network attack blocker and vulnerability scanning. There’s also a new cloud discovery feature that lets you keep an eye on email, file-sharing, messaging and social networking services being accessed by users.

If you need more, you can move up to the Plus version, which adds Office 365 protection, URL-based web filtering, endpoint device controls, encryption and patch management. The Plus service lets you block specific cloud services too, while the regular tier only monitors them.

We found deployment pleasingly simple: the agent can be downloaded and installed directly from the web portal, or you can email a download link to users. Either way, it takes around five minutes to set up, with a further 15-minute wait while the client registers its licence.

Once that’s done, protection starts immediately with a default security policy that enables everything Kaspersky has to offer. If you want to customise your coverage, it’s easy to create your own policies, organise clients into groups and grant admin rights to specific users. For Windows systems there are three levels of file and web threat protection on offer, and you can choose whether to scan emails for dodgy content and enable network threat protection. If you have the Plus version, you can browse all detected cloud services and decide whether to block any. Macs get file, web and network threat protection, but mail and cloud discovery are off the menu.

It’s a varied offering for mobile users too. Android devices benefit from antivirus protection plus web and app controls, while for iOS it’s more about access security: the portal lets you create APNs certificates, allowing you to choose what device features are accessible, set a screen lock and password policy, apply simple website keyword blocking and restrict which networks can be joined.

As you’d hope, the whole system is highly responsive to threats. When we tried introducing malware to some of our test Windows 10 systems, the local client blocked them immediately, with email alerts landing in our administrative mailbox barely ten seconds later.

The web portal is very informative. A graph displays the top five categories of cloud services in use and lets you drill down to see exactly who’s using what; our only slight niggle is that this took several hours to populate with details on detected services. Below, more graphs show device protection status, the OS spread, detected threats and the results of daily vulnerability scans. There’s a good set of predefined reports too, covering protection status, threats, database updates and cloud discovery, which can be exported in CSV and PDF formats.

If your business is of a suitable size, Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud is great value, especially since each licence includes protection for two mobile devices. The cloud discovery component can be a little slow, but endpoint protection doesn’t get any stronger than this and the cloud portal is very easy to work with.

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