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Kaspersky Lab yesterday released an update to its security administration kit that it hopes will aid partners in selling Kaspersky into the enterprise.

The company unwrapped Kaspersky Open Space Security (KOSS) Release 2, a suite of three applications that includes antivirus for workstations and for servers, plus the eighth iteration of its administration kit.

The latest revision to the admin kit includes a new management console with improved reporting capabilities, refined deployment tools and better controls, including endpoint policy controls.

“So, for example, you can create policy to limit access to USB thumb drives or printers, depending on the environment that the user is in, whether they’re in the enterprise itself or operating remotely,” says Peter Beardmore, senior product marketing manager for Kaspersky. “Then on the management side, in addition to really fantastic reporting tools which are particularly valuable for partners who are using the products for the delivery of a managed service, our deployment tools are really dramatically improved.”

On the antivirus front, the KOSS workstation and server versions of antivirus now include the new antivirus engine Kaspersky introduced on the consumer side a year ago, Beardmore says.

“We’ve had some great results there and we’ve just brought it into our business products,” he says “It runs a lot faster and the removal capabilities are considerably better.”

Additionally, the KOSS Release 2 products have been optimized for Windows 7. According to Beardmore, Kaspersky engineers have been working with Microsoft on compatibility with the new operating system since last October.

These updates are offered free to existing KOSS members. Beardmore says that the improvements should be an opportunity for its channel to also attract new business from clients who may be looking to switch security companies as their renewal cycles come up.

“New business generally comes from one of three categories, or a combination of the three, which are: customers looking for better protection, for better performance or better management,” he says. “From our perspective we’ve made major improvements on all three. This really speaks to both the customer needs; they’re ultimately going to make the decision to change endpoint protection because they see better value from one of these three core areas. Usually the next question is, ‘Well, OK, what’s the impact on my operations if I decide to change?’ The administration kit product is really designed to absolutely minimize the impact f that process.”

Beardmore calls the new deployment tools highly “wizardized” with automated installation, automated discovery of devices on the network, automated removal of incompatible software and improved policy deployment options, including the ability to leverage existing Active Directory groupings and replicating them across various policies.

“It’s really designed to streamline that entire process, automate it almost entirely and in doing so significantly reduce any impact that comes from change,” Beardmore says. “Our channel partners quite often have conversations about that circumstance where I talked about earlier where the incumbent vendor really messed up and they’re hounded by some sort of malware on their system that they either cant detect or can’t remove and they find themselves in a lot of conversations exactly about what those costs of switching are and what the impact is to the business. And its not just monetary costs, its impact to operations.”