Kaspersky Enterprise Space Security 6 review

13 Aug 2007

Extra protection features in the client software make this release even better value.

Price when reviewed 
420
5

Kaspersky Labs has a solid track record in providing antivirus protection for networked Windows workstations, Exchange servers and file servers. The latest release builds on this success, extending its coverage to include Linux, Samba and Novell NetWare systems as well. It retains the same architecture as the previous version, using network agents reporting back to a central management system, with each agent monitoring the activity of the local antivirus software. Agents can generate warnings at the central management system if the resident scanner detects a virus or suspicious activity. The agents receive downloaded data such as virus signatures from the management server to update the local scanner, and can initiate functions such as system scans on command from the central management console.

All the systems are controlled using Kaspersky's Administration Kit software. As before, this is implemented as a set of wizards and a Microsoft Management Console plug-in, providing control and reporting facilities for all the managed systems, and allowing the creation and deployment of software packages to both new and existing systems. Customised reports can be created if required, although the range of preconfigured reports available should answer most needs. Reports can be produced in HTML or in normal print format. Systems can be arranged into groups for easier management, and each group can have an administration server assigned to it to distribute network traffic more evenly.

We upgraded part of our version 5 installation using the wizards provided, and the system happily managed both versions of the software on workstations and servers. This is good news for larger installations, since it allows for a gradual rollout over time rather than the "big bang" approach that often causes problems. This is especially useful where the new workstation software is concerned. While the Windows file server software continues to confine itself to virus-scanning duties, the workstation client has more features than before.

It now offers a whole battery of extra protection options: antispyware, antiphishing and antispam features are all available, as well as pop-up blocking and antihacker features including a firewall and intrusion detection system. Each feature has its own set of configuration options. We were impressed by the antispam system, which not only detects text-based spam using a self-training algorithm, but can also detect spam in images and from the contents of the mail header. Further antispam protection is provided by black and white lists, and various tuning options. There's also an option to scan incoming mail at the server before it's downloaded, enabling the user to inspect and delete suspect mail before it reaches their system.

All these extra features require more input from the user and, where version 5 was unobtrusive, version 6 can be positively garrulous at times, especially when high-activity email accounts are involved. However, the extra features in the client software avoid the need for separate protection programs, providing savings in processing power, administration and costs, making the whole package even more attractive.