Kaspersky invents security suite for 'expert' user

Pure adds encryption, backup and parental controls

Kaspersky Lab has invented a new security product that combines bits of its current consumer security suite with new capabilities such as encryption, backup, password management, and the ability to manage the product across a network.

Kaspersky Pure, as the company has named it, looks like an 'expert user' product that offers the simple convenience of a wide range of security-related tools in one integrated suite. The core of the product is identical in its antivirus and antispam capabilities to the company's Anti-Virus and Internet Security products, but it is the added 'do everything' extras that mark it out as different.

Pure gets parental 'Big brother' controls such as the ability to time-limit Internet access, regulate access to specific programs, and put blocks on IM sessions containing certain terms or even telephone numbers, a set of features which would today probably require a separate product.

Next up is encryption, which allows users to store important data inside containers of varying size, preferably on an external disk. This ties in with the backup module which allows scheduled, incremental backups of specified file types and locations.

Accessing multiple websites using different logins and passwords is simplified by the included password manager. This stores passwords securely inside a database (which itself can be backed up), which, depending on how it is configured, can be automatically summoned when logging into a specific website. Mobile phones can also be used as tokens to unlock this database via Bluetooth when they come within range of the PC.

The product also addresses a common weakness of many security software products which assume a single user and a single PC. Pure extends this to allow many of the settings - for backup and parental controls for instance - to be set up on several PC across the network by anyone with admin permissions.

"Now that it has become common for many users to store their digital assets in electronic format, a need has arisen for new types of comprehensive solutions that offer protection against all types of digital threats," said Kaspersky Lab CEO, Eugene Kaspersky.

As loaded with features as Pure appears, many of them can be found as standalone products for free. Basic encrypted data containers are offered with most encryption products, online password management is available from excellent products such as LastPass and RoboForm which cost nothing as long as the entries don't exceed quotas, and basic backup utilities can be found cheaply from a wide range of providers. Even antivirus is now turning into a free utility.

Pure's strength, then, rests on integrating a family of features under one product, and doing so without asking the user to assess different possibly unknown products.

Kaspersky Pure is officially available from 30 March (retail) and 8 April (online) for £69.99 for a three-PC license.

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John E. Dunn

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