The trend in the anti-virus industry lately has been to move towards new, more sophisticated technologies to protect against malicious and unwanted software. One of these trends has been the decision to bet on so-called cloud computing, which is often described as “innovative”, “revolutionary”.
Cloud computing concepts
Cloud computing is a data processing technology in which computer resources and capacity are made available to the user as an Internet service. The user has access to their data, but cannot manage and does not have to care about the infrastructure, operating system, and the actual software they are working with. The term ‘cloud’ is used as a metaphor, based on the image of the Internet in a computer network diagram, or as an image of a complex infrastructure behind which all the technical details are hidden.
There are several conventional categories of cloud computing.
The first is Software as a Service (SaaS) – which brings together complete solutions for a wide audience, typical of which are modern email services, file-sharing, many CRM/ERP systems.
The second group, called Platform as a Service (PaaS), consists of developer-oriented cloud services, which are hosted resources with a rich set of APIs for creating web applications. Google App Engine, Windows Azure, Aptana Cloud are prime examples of such platforms. Another category is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Large software organizations can rent servers/clusters, choose the necessary tools for work, and pay only for the resources used.
Pros and cons of cloud-based anti-virus software
If we talk about the pros, cloud computing has more than enough of them. Suffice it to mention such features as:
Scalability – the developer gets as many resources as needed for the operation of software products at any load.
Standardized interface for working in the cloud – organization of the relationship with the system based on the principle of “as many resources spent as paid for resilience and reliability of data storage.
There are some disadvantages to cloud technology, unlike the antivirus software for PC. Some of these are the tight link to the network and the ideology of storing and processing data on remote servers. And while the mechanisms for the offline operation of client parts are being actively developed, ensuring the confidentiality of the information stored in cloud systems depends entirely on the cloud service provider, which is interested in and guarantees the security of client data processed in the data center.
The relevance of cloud technology in the anti-virus field
In the 15 years between 1992 and 2007, almost two million unique malware threats were detected, and in 2008 alone, 15 million! In 2020, the number of malware in the anti-virus collection reached 33.9 million, and the number of new threats continues to grow rapidly. In the near future, the number of exponentially increasing malicious applications will reach a tipping point, putting any antivirus program that uses signature-based analysis out of business as it consumes too much computing power on the user’s computer.
The idea behind cloud antivirus products is a simple one and one that many developers find very easy to implement. To put it as succinctly as possible, the cloud antivirus client and server parts should be distinguished.
The first part is minimal in size and installed on users’ machines and includes an engine that scans the data and sends file checksums to the server. The cloud-hosted server gets file hashes from the clients, searches the virus signature database, and returns its verdict regarding the cleanliness of the data sent. If malware is detected, the server sends the client the relevant scripts whose execution clears the user’s computer of malicious objects.
Not only does this significantly reduce the load on your computer’s hardware, but it also frees you from having to download signature databases and provides the best protection through the use of “collective intelligence”, which uses information from a multi-million strong audience to automatically detect and classify new types of malware.
The best cloud-based antiviruses
Not many antivirus companies have fully migrated their solutions to the new platform. However, there are some and we will tell you what they are good for below.
1: Avast Antivirus Nitro.
Avast Software has unveiled a new version of its flagship product, Avast Antivirus Nitro. The new anti-threat technology shifts some of the malware detection and analysis workloads to the cloud, making it lighter and faster.
Also, Avast Antivirus Nitro Update boosts your computer’s performance, speed, and system load while protecting all types of malware. With the new Avast Antivirus Update, computer loading is now 11% faster on average. Besides, antivirus booting is faster due to the smaller size of the program, and cloud-based security analysis frees up CPU processing power for other tasks.
2. Trend Micro
Trend Micro SecureCloud secures your enterprise-class data by encrypting it in the cloud. Trend Micro SecureCloud increases and expands your security and data protection as you transition from virtualization to the private and public cloud. Using policy-based encryption and key management, SecureCloud secures data in the cloud and gives you the freedom to move between cloud providers without being tied to a single encryption system.
3. Panda Cloud Office Protection
Panda Security, a supplier of cloud-based antivirus and malware security solutions, and Microsoft Corporation have agreed to cooperate to promote cloud-based anti-virus security services hosted on. The new release is hosted on Windows Azure. The new version of Panda Cloud Office Protection 6.0 is hosted
on Windows Azure, a cloud-based platform developed for hosting, upscaling, and managing web apps.