Monday, November 11, 2013

Bitdefender Cloud Security - Providing Security As a Service to Small & Medium Sized Enterprises!

A few days back I wrote about Bitdefender's GravityZone-in-a-Box as an on-premise security solution for protecting endpoints within an organization. I also showcased as to how you can deploy the solution in your infrastructure in another article. While I was evaluating the product as an on-premise solution for end-point security, I also got an opportunity to lay my hands on a cloud based solution of Bitdefender which is tailor made for small and medium sized businesses. The solution is called Bitdefender Cloud Security. 

In the past few years of working with customers I realized that whether its Enterprise organizations or Small and Medium enterprises, securing the end point and server workloads has been one of the biggest worry for any organization. To add to this worry, Desktop and Server Virtualization has completely changed the landscape of the traditional datacenter, requiring the organizations to re-model there security procedures and policies. Having said this, all the SMB customers I work with have other major challenges to face, which includes, cost of procuring security solutions, complexity in deploying such solutions and skill-sets/resources required to manage and run such solutions. Bitdefender Cloud Security focuses on solving similar issues and more for small and medium sized businesses. 

As per my experience, SMBs are the biggest target for hackers as they are usually easy to break into due to none or lack of good anti-virus solutions, no dedicated security teams and lack of security policies. This exposes them to a number of threats. This can range from the most common one's such as Email Attachments to Phishing and Worm attacks.

Diverse Threat Landscape

Although the challenges and the threats mentioned above have always been a headache for customers, I  have realized that small or medium enterprises can also build up endpoint security which matches up with the standards of a large organization with the use of Bitdefender. This is possible because like any other Cloud Based Service, Cloud Security is available as a service from Bitdefender which not only makes it inexpensive to own, but also easy to deploy and manage.

I signed up for the service for 30 days trial and it was quick and easy to setup. Let's see how we can use Cloud Security.

1- After signing up for the 30 day trial here, you will receive your username and password along with the link to log in to the Cloud Security Console.

2- Once you are logged in to the Security Console, you will be on the Dashboard Tab which will showcase all the resources which you have added for endpoint security. My dashboard is empty since I just started.

Here you can do a number of tasks of creating new policies, add new resources, create multiple accounts etc. Let's start with adding a few resources.

3- Click on Computers -> Installation Area

On the next page you will see the following options:-

You can see that you have a number of options which you can use to install the AV agent on your Desktops or Servers. You can either do a manual installation or a remote installation. While the options are quite easy and self-explanatory, I would want to highlight a great feature which allows me to customize an installation package. This feature allows you to select the modules which you want to install and also set a uninstall password. See the screenshot below:-

4- I chose the option "Use Installation Link". You can either open the link directly on the machine where you want to install the agent or you can email the link as well as shown below.

5- Now select the type of agent you want to install, based on the operating system of the end-point or server.


6- Once you select the package, it will start the download and installation automatically. Once completed, the icon of Bitdefender would be visible in the notification area of windows.

7- Open the console to see the details. You can also perform the first scan manually or wait for it to kick off based on the configured schedule.

8- Once the Scan is done, you can check the status of the system by clicking on the Status Tab.

9- Finally let's log in to the Cloud Security Console and you will see that the server where I have installed the client is visible in the centralized console and I can monitor all the virus and malware activities from this console.

This was just an example which showcased, how easy it is to adopt endpoint security by using Bit-defender's Cloud Security. All this without the need of investing money in buying the software and then deploying and maintaining the same. At the same time, you are able to centralize the deployment from a single portal, which will help you manage security for all the endpoints and servers of your entire organization. While all this sounds great, the best feature I like is that these endpoints can be in an office premise, on the field or in a remote datacenter.

I also looked at the licensing model of the product and was happy to see that it comes with a true cloud consumption model with following options:-

Free trial: 30 day period, after which product ceases to function 
Subscriptions for 1 / 2 / 3 year models 
Partners can implement flexible monthly licensing based on consumption 
Special discounts apply for education, government, competitive upgrade and renewal 
Licenses per endpoint (same price for server or workstation)

To summarize:
  • The license model is OPEX based and the product can be consumed as a service.
  • It is the simple-most anti-virus deployment I have ever seen. Took me minutes to get going.
  • Zero management overhead as everything is centralized and placed on a single portal.
  • Not just Anti-Virus but a 2 way firewall with Intrusion detection, anti-phishing, web filtering & device scanning.
  • Automatic updates unified security policies; users can’t change settings or deactivate AV.

If you looking for an anti-virus solution, just go ahead and sign-up for trials and see if this meets you needs. I hope this review would be helpful in choosing and deploying Bitdefender Cloud Security and secure your endpoint and server workloads in your organization.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good.but I wonder how we can completely avoid end point security for smb deployments. As we need to divert traffic through these end points in cloud, we need some level of security for pipes connecting to data center.