Antivirus software is important, but many available products can bog down machines with heavy memory and processor usage. Panda Security today announced its free personal Cloud Antivirus product, which keeps most of the heavy lifting in Panda’s cloud instead of on the user’s PC. The result: Panda claims Cloud Antivirus creates only half the performance impact of traditional local clients, and it cuts memory usage from 52MB to 17MB. A big reason for these performance improvements is that Cloud Antivirus actively scans only for malware trying to execute into memory (an operation performed in the cloud), saving detecting of less-dangerous malware for less-consumptive background scans. Panda’s underlying Collective Intelligence cloud technology centralizes virus data from across user PCs to keep the Cloud Antivirus database continuously up to date.
The concept of applying cloud computing to antivirus software is gaining momentum. Cloudmark, for example, offers a suite of cloud-based spam filtering and antivirus products, and a University of Michigan project seeks to combine the powers of several leading antivirus products into one cloud-based solution.