Kaspersky – a leading manufacturer of security products, is well on its way to releasing Kaspersky Antivirus 2010 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2010. The initial beta testing phase for KIS 2010 and KAV 2010 is over. General avaibility hasn’t been announced yet. Kaspersky may go ahead and release this build to the public or decide to go for another round of testing on a modified build. Whatever the case may be, 2010 is shaping up to be an impressive update. Here are some of the new features.
IM Anti-Virus: This module scans all your communications via Instant messenger for malicious files and URLs. Many instant messanging clients including ICQ, MSN, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, Jabber and Google Talk are supported.
Revamped Application Control: Application Control monitors every action performed by a process and manages their activities based on how much you trust them. It monitors access to the user’s personal data and to the operating system’s settings and objects, and prevents applications from performing dangerous actions within the system.
URL Scanning Module: This module (Kaspersky URL Advisor) is built into Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox browsers as a plug-in and offers protection against phishing and other malware ridden URLs.
SafeRun: In one of my earlier post I had emphasized the benefits of Sandboxing and a few applications for implementing a sandboxed environment. A sandbox is a virtual environment for running applications which creates a barrier between your system and the application and prevents the application from affecting your system. It’s the most effective protection against zero-day exploits and malwares. Kapsersky now provides a built in Sandboxed environment for running your web-browsers. Kaspersky calls this SafeRun.
Vulnerability Scan: Kaspersky now includes a vulnerability scanning module that scans your system and detects inappropriate system settings and out-dated software with known exploits.
Gaming Profile: Norton released a special edition of its Antivirus dedicated at Gamers (Norton Antivirus Gaming Edition) which became quite popular. Kaspersky has quietly added a Gaming Profile. This profile disables all notifications along with some other Kaspersky features while continuing to offer basic system protection.
Security+: The Security+ tab is a new addition and now houses old features like Virtual Keyboard, Parental Control and Kaspersky Rescue Disk creator (creates a bootable disc from which you can run Kaspersky without booting into Windows). It also houses Internet Tracks Eraser (cleans your browsing history), Browser Settings Tuner (checks for potentially unsafe Internet Explorer settings) and Microsoft Windows Settings Troubleshooter (checks for potentially problematic system settings).
Kaspersky 2010 is a solid upgrade with a host of new features. Kaspersky has always been feature rich and this upgrade continues its tradition. Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 is also lighter than Kaspersky Internet Security 2009. However, it is still a lot heavier than Kaspersky Workstation Technical Preview for Windows 7. Impressive feature list notwithstanding, what I really want from a security suite is impressive detection rate. Kaspersky which has traditionally been the leader of the pack in terms of detection rate has been slipping in the recent past. In the last test conducted by Avcomparatives it was handsomely beaten by both Avira and Norton (see Antivirus Shootout – Feb 09 for more details). Once the final build is made available it would be interesting to see if the 2010 line of products can redeem Kaspersky’s reputation.
In my testing, the latest build 126.96.36.1999 seemed to be very stable and usable. If you want to try it out you can download it from here.The latest build will always be available at the Kaspersky Labs Dev Build Server. And as always upgrade is free to present license holders.