Panda Adaptive Defense 360 review: Smarter than your average bear

Panda’s innovative cloud endpoint protection service fills the gaps other security solutions leave behind

Editor's Choice
Price
£1,231
  • Heaps of endpoint protection features; Low price; Easy deployment and discovery

When we last reviewed Panda's Adaptive Defense 360 (AD360), we were bowled over by its tough security measures and rated it as the perfect cloud-based service for SMEs. Not content to rest on its laurels, Panda has completely redesigned the product and added a wealth of new features.

At its foundation, AD360 provides endpoint protection comprising file, web and mail antivirus, client firewall, web content filtering, Exchange antispam and removable device controls. AD360 is smarter than your average protection solution as it analyses and classifies all apps run on endpoints and blocks those it doesn't know about.

Blocked app details are passed to the cloud where their security posture is determined in the background. AD360 runs a barrage of tests on them, and only if they pass will it instruct the endpoint client to let them run.

The new portal dashboard presents even more information on endpoints, trusted apps, malware, exploits, PUPs and apps currently being examined. Portal access has been improved with multiple admin roles allowing you to define what each user can access in the console.

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Endpoint protection clients for Windows, Linux, macOS and Android devices can be downloaded from the portal and the new discovery feature simplifies this even further. We nominated one Windows 10 PC as a discovery client, left it to scan the network, selected desktops and servers from the list and pushed the agent to them.

Endpoints are organized into custom groups and management options have been enhanced. Previously, only one security profile could be assigned to a group but now you can have up to five for controlling proxies, endpoint security settings and Android devices.

Profiles can start in a passive audit mode and you now have two enforcement options. The 'hardening' mode allows preinstalled unknown apps to run but blocks any from external sources while the 'Lock' mode stops all unknown apps from running until AD360 has deemed them to be safe.

Alerting supports more event types and response times are now near instant as opposed to the 15 minute wait in the previous version. We tested this by introducing malware and PUPs to some clients and saw the web console highlight them in around 10 seconds with email alerts flying in a minute later.

AD360 provides hardware and software inventory of Windows, Linux and macOS devices. This includes real-time CPU, memory and disk usage graphs, and custom filters can be applied to all inventory data.

The portal can now isolate compromised systems so only their local AD360 services can communicate with the network. It's fast too, as when we isolated selected clients, network access was denied to them in 5 seconds.

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Device control policies set Windows read/write privileges for removable, optical, mobile, Bluetooth, image capture and modem devices. Web filtering controls access to over 60 URL categories and the portal provides a graphical readout on blocked and allowed categories along with the clients that accessed them.

Businesses with GDPR on their mind will love the data monitoring policy as AD360 searches group members for PII (personally identifiable information). It sends this to the optional advanced cloud reporting service which provides full search facilities while its forensics analytics can be used to view security threats, find out which systems, processes and files were affected and display a timeline to see the order they occurred in.

We didn't think AD360 could get any better but Panda proved us wrong - this latest version is packed to the gills with new features. Its improved management, remarkable range of endpoint protection services and top value ensures it earns a well-deserved IT Pro Editor's Choice Award.

Verdict

We didn’t think Adaptive Defense 360 could get any better but Panda proved us wrong - this latest version is packed to the gills with new features. Its improved management, remarkable range of endpoint protection services and top value ensures it earns a well-deserved IT Pro Editor’s Choice Award.

Windows 7/Server 2008 upwards, AV and web filtering – Linux and maxOS, AV only - Android.

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