Being fans of Kaspersky's consumer suites, we were keen to see what it had come up with in its new small business product. It wasn't what we expected. In fact, we're not really sure of its reason for existence, except as a licensing bundle.
Small Office Security is not a managed solution. There is no way to control the clients remotely or capture alerts - each desktop has to be managed individually. For this reason Kaspersky only recommends it for installations of 10 desktops or less. Its one server-based feature is an anti-virus agent for Windows file servers.
So is there much difference between this and the consumer version of the Kaspersky suite? Not really. It protects against much the same things: malware, spyware, hackers, phishing, popups, spam and dangerous application behavior. Its performance in some of these areas can be spotty - its anti-malware and firewall are first-class, for example, but the spam filtering and phishing protection are spotty at best.
The good news is that it's very easy to use and configure, which means that giving individual users control over their own settings is not as risky as it might otherwise be. Nearly all the settings are controlled by simple sliders and basic check boxes. There's nothing too frightening in its settings. It can also be set to dial down the alerts and popups to a bare minimum.
Viewed on the basis of the individual client application, Kasperksy Small Office Security isn't a bad product at all. But its lack of centralised managed puts it in a different league to other small business products like BitDefender's Small Office Security or McAfee's Total Protection Service. If you want that kind of management, you need to look elsewhere.