Kaspersky Lab has launched two new apps for the ‘post-virus' age, one for protecting browser logins, the other for transparently locking and unlocking data in folders or hard disk partitions.
According to the company, protecting a PC with antivirus is no longer enough on its own. Users need to lock up not only valuable files but data such as web logins that are often held in insecure browser caches.
Kaspersky Password Manager (KPM) is the company's take on the consumer password database, an encrypted store into which users can place logins for anything accessed using a web browser. Mostly that will be website passwords and user names, but could also include routers and networked attacked storage devices, precisely the types of infrequently-accessed passwords consumers often forget, or worse, write down.
Citing research from Microsoft, the average web user has around 25 web logins, accessing an average of eight a day, Kaspersky said. Separate research figures suggested that two thirds of consumers used only one or two passwords for all sites, almost all of which were stored or cached locally in an insecure form.
Access to the KPM database is through a master password, with data fields for each site either entered manually in user-defined groups or imported from third-party apps such as KeePass or Microsoft's IE browser. Alternatively, the app will store each login it encounters, signing users in automatically from that point forward.
Helpfully, the app is designed to back itself up automatically to a hard disk location or networked drive, while the database itself can be made portable by copying it in encrypted form to a USB drive. An innovative element is the form-filling feature, which can be customised through multiple ‘identities' for different types of website.
The Kaspersky KryptoStorage (KKS) is a 128-bit AES encryption program for locking up data inside whole partitions of the hard disk or, for smaller amounts of data, in individual folders. Files can also be saved inside ‘containers' which are portable enough to be saved to various media and even emailed. Files are transparently encrypted and decrypted when they are opened or saved, minimising user interaction.
Both products are studied diversifications away from the company's traditional anti-virus software based on blocking invading programs. The main problem in selling a password protection database is that others already do the basic levels for free in the case of products such as the excellent LastPass, an online-only encrypted login manager that integrates with a user's browser.
File and container encryption is a more obvious target to aim for as it is fragmented across a wide range of little-known products geared to expert users, but even here the future lies with transparent encryption systems built in from scratch.
Kaspersky Password Manager (KPM) and Kaspersky KryptoStorage (KKS)
are available for download immediately for £24.99 (approx $40) and £29.99 ($49) respectively.