Sana Gives Desktop PCs Autoimmunity

The San Mateo, Calif., vendor made its mark earlier this year with server-based security software that acts much like the human autoimmune system when protecting a computer from malicious code.

Now Sana is using the tools comprising its Primary Response server product for a Windows-based desktop version called Attack Shield Worm Suppression, said John Zicker, chairman and CEO of Sana.

the same way Primary Response protects a server, this version protects PCs from being infected by code-injected worms such as Sasser and Blaster without being dependent on virus update signatures or other rules-based security architectures, which take time to download and install, Zicker said. Instead, Attack Shield Worm Suppression installs on the operating system and takes a snapshot of how the uninfected machine normally works. Then it waits and watches for anomalies to normal computing behavior and takes action against any deviation that could harm the PC or alter its normal operation, Zicker said.

"Unlike traditional rules- and signature-based security products, which are constantly outdated and require continual updates and management, Attack Shield reduces IT overhead with its ability to instantly self-protect PCs," Zicker said.

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Sana is aiming Attack Shield Worm Suppression and other upcoming Attack Shield products almost exclusively at resellers and white-box makers, he said. And part of the strategy is to keep the product at a low $10-per-PC price so resellers can offer it as part of a layered security package along with firewalls and client-side antivirus protection.

The low price and layered approach resonates well with customers, said Nick Stango, owner of DataServ, a Brielle, N.J.-based VAR that caters to businesses with 30 PCs or fewer. "It's added peace of mind for not a whole lot of money," he said. "And not having to manage updates is a big sell with small companies."