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Panda Puts Antivirus Software in the Cloud

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panda1Antivirus 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.

12 Responses to “Panda Puts Antivirus Software in the Cloud”

  1. I am wondering where they got their figures for this article ( I am assuming directly from Panda). I am specifically referring to this line “it cuts memory usage from 52MB to 17MB.” I can only speak for myself based off of many years of Antivirus experience, but I have never enjoyed (except for maybe in pre-Windows 98 days) an AV program with a footprint of at or below 52MB. Typically they hover at least at 64Mb and usually much higher. Still, the proposed 17MB usage sounds promising. I still have some lingering concerns about taking my data and exposing it to a cloud environment. I think I will wait and see on this one. It sounds fantastic in theory, but I think that becoming an early adopter of this new architecture may prove a bit risky.

  2. Mark Pemburn

    You should be aware that the Panda Cloud anti-virus is Beta software. If you read the license agreement it states that you must remove the free version from your PC once the general-release version becomes available.

  3. Richard

    There’s no useful information on the Panda page – how much is done in the cloud, and how much on the PC? If you lose your internet connection (perhaps due to a zero day virus) it’s useful if you still have some residual antivirus capability left on the PC. I can also see this being quite slow in some cases.

    There are already products such as Kaspersky and NOD32 that are pretty low impact in CPU and memory, so I’m not sure that adding an Internet connection dependency is really worth it, other than as a marketing gimmick.

    The only value of this is if the Panda cloud software can detect new threats more quickly because it’s a centralised scanning resource.

    • achugh

      When you are connected to the Internet, scanning is done from the cloud, not locally. When you are not connected, the scanning is done through the locally cached definitions. I have written small description in my blog regarding this and provided the URL where they answer questions related to Panda.

  4. Many competitors already use such solution. Hope Panda will be faster, latest versions are quite slow.

    BTW, be careful not to run anything from USB sticks when not connected to the internet.

  5. This is a bold move by Panda and I’d like to see it work. Looks like a lot of AV vendors are moving in this direction with cloud scanning, but Panda’s taking it a step further by prioritizing scans of files attempting to execute to keep PC performance high. Interesting.