Malwarebytes steps up to protect large enterprises

Malwarebytes has established its reputation as a supplier of free anti-malware software to more than 150 million home PC users. Now it has announced its first Enterprise Edition.

Malwarebytes, the San Jose-based anti-malware company, now wants to protect large companies from sophisticated Windows malware, including rogue applications and targeted attacks. While known for the free version of its program, which has more than 150 million home PC users, Malwarebytes now has three paid-for offerings: a Pro version for individuals, an SMB version for companies with up to 99 users, and the Malwarebytes Enterprise Edition (MEE) announced today (Monday).

As well as signature-based detection, Malwarebytes uses a wide range of technologies, including heuristics, to tackle zero-day, polymorphic and blended malware threats. Malwarebytes' blog also claims that it performed better than most popular products (except Kaspersky) in recent zero-day tests run by malware research group MRG Effitas. It says: "Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is not intended to be used as the sole protection for a system; therefore, to outdo most of the products that are designed specifically for that purpose is quite an achievement."

MBAM CEO Marcin Kleczynski
MBAM CEO Marcin Kleczynski

The professional versions of Malwarebytes include a real-time malware protection engine, heuristic protection, malicious website protection and other features not included in the free version. Malwarebytes CEO Marcin Kleczynski said in a statement: "MEE's heuristic and behavior-based analysis engine adds a powerful second layer of defense to today’s corporate systems that more effectively safeguards sensitive corporate assets from the organized crime rings behind much of today’s malware."

MEE is designed to be run from a single console and to work with both physical and virtual versions of Microsoft Windows clients. It allows for control of individual users and groups of users, as well as setting enterprise-wide rules. The US price for a 100-seat license starts at $1,315, but Malwarebytes will quote to order.

MBAM Enterprise home scrfeen
MBAM Enterprise Edition console

I've recommended the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) numerous times in my Guardian Ask Jack column as the first thing to run when a PC appears to have become infected while running an alternative product. As a scan-on-demand offering, it seems to have the knack of picking up infections, especially new and zero-day infections, that other products have missed.

Malwarebytes also suggests that it has "broad compatibility" with other anti-malware products. While it's usually not a good idea to run two anti-malware programs at the same time, it is possible to run MBAM along with Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) by setting the correct exclusions.

Malwarebytes' MEE isn't very likely to displace established products such as Kaspersky Open Space Security in the near future, but it has taken the first step on the enterprise ladder.