We have discussed about anti-virus on the clouds here at Cloud Ave earlier. As I had pointed out in my earlier post on Panda Security, there are some distinct advantages in using anti-virus on the clouds. They are
- Much lower resource consumption on desktops by leveraging the processing power of the clouds
- Better deployment and management capabilities, especially for bigger companies
- Faster patch deployment to protect against newer threats
- Possibility to take advantage of crowdsourcing
- Better forensics
The fourth point about crowdsourcing is very interesting. In that post, I explained it as follows
A parallel engine system or a crowdsourcing approach can be implemented only if the Antivirus is on the Clouds. This helps in better detection of malicious software and viruses. Plus, the availability of history helps vendors in retrospective detection. In short, Antivirus on the Clouds is a better way to tackle malware and viruses than the traditional desktop approach.
Well, a former Symantec executive understood the advantages of Crowdsourcing and Cloud Computing very well. He ended up starting a company called Immunet, which came out of stealth mode yesterday.
This new free product takes advantages of three aspect of the modern day computing to offer a real-time protection against the threats to your computer.
- Cloud Computing
- Collective Intelligence
Immunet’s product plays the community game very well. They take advantage of crowdsourcing by tapping into the clouds. They gather information about various threats to users security in real time and offer protection against these new threats in real time. They could achieve this by tapping into Cloud Computing technologies to their advantage. Also, their product is uniquely positioned to support the current era of social networks and the contacts through these social networks. They are not only protecting the users from security threats, they also integrate their social contacts to the product and offer an easy way to automatically invite them to take advantage of the Immunet security. Essentially, it is a good marketing strategy to spread the word about their product.
The use of Clouds to offer their anti-virus solutions helps Immunet to decentralize the detection and analysis process. Also, only those detections needed by the users are kept in the users’ computer, thereby, reducing the bloat in the software. The user’s computer is always connected to Immunet Cloud, providing them with real-time AntiVirus protection with a detection set that is always up to date.
There is another trick Immunet uses to offer a better quality protection. It taps into the intelligence gained by the other security applications already installed on their machines. This, along with the fact that it can do it on the whole installed base, makes their offering a superior one compared to other traditional anti-virus solutions.
The change in how we do computing has already happened. It is about time we have security vendors incorporate these shifts in their products. In this sense, Immunet is an anti-virus on clouds tackling the problems of the cloud era.