Kaspersky Small Office Security 2 is an endpoint security software program designed for small- or home-office users. It comes in three simple licensing packages: five workstations, five workstations plus one server, and 10 workstations plus one server. Its most important advantages are simplicity and design while delivering quality antivirus and malware protection.
When working in a small-office environment, there are two basic requirements for security software: It needs to work, and it needs to stay out of the way. Kaspersky’s scanning technology can detect up to 92 percent of previously unknown viruses, so systems are well protected even against malware that hasn’t been designed yet. Updates to the program are released every three hours (or more often if needed), and users’ PCs will automatically go out to the Internet to fetch those updates.
All that protection would be useless, though, if the program prevented staff from getting work done. Kaspersky’s designers have made sure that it performs critical, intensive tasks only when the computer is not in use. In my tests on the oldest computers I have in my home (single-core, 5-year-old PCs), I noticed Kaspersky was there only when it alerted me to an issue. Otherwise, all of my web-surfing, spreadsheet-calculating and review-writing moments went uninterrupted, even when performing a full scan of my file system.
The Kaspersky engine scans both file systems and what users are viewing on the web — and not just downloads. Best of all, the product is user friendly. Simplistic slide controls let users specify the level of security that is needed. There’s nothing scary in the configuration that requires a call to an IT guru.
Kaspersky Small Office Security 2 is designed so that it doesn’t require dedicated IT resources. The configuration and installation are simple: A very easy-to-follow instruction guide can assist even the not-so-savvy with configuration. Small Office Security 2 also automatically disables just about any other antivirus or Windows firewall software (because it provides its own), so there won’t be any conflicts. Clients can be managed either from a file server that has Kaspersky installed or through another client.
If a group of computers is being maintained offsite, simply connect to the network and configure any of the computers by using another of them. It’s also possible to update clients one at a time without taking control of a user’s system or coming to their location.
The product comes with a 275-page user guide. It’s well written and covers everything from managing the license to resolving typical tasks, and it can even help validate that the software is working correctly.
Kaspersky Small Office Security 2 is supported on everything from 32-bit Windows XP SP3 (in all flavors) up through 64-bit Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition. But take note that while it might install fine on Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition, this is not supported, and in my case, it caused the server to lock up after a few hours and then lock up on reboot. (I was able to uninstall in safe mode.) It did, however, work just fine on Windows Server 2008 Web Edition.
Also, unlike the Enterprise products from Kaspersky, this product is not managed. While it’s possible to control one computer from another, there is no central console from which to roll out a policy or manage the clients as a whole. There’s also no way to roll out alerts or report issues to a central console or reporting device. Companies with these kinds of needs should consider an enterprise version of the product.