UK companies can now have antivirus updates delivered to them directly via satellite, enabling simultaneous updates to multiple users without relying on land-based networks.
South African company Satellite Safe, which is launching in Europe next week, said that once a company's basic antivirus package has been installed, it can perform updates via satellite whenever they become available.
The company said that unlike traditional methods, where users need to be connected to a network and administrators are required to physically update the antivirus software, satellite-borne updating can be performed remotely, quickly and simultaneously to multiple users.
A single satellite station can multi-broadcast large files directly to a satellite card installed in a PC or file server. Satellite Safe offers its service to users in South Africa and will next week offer the service to European businesses.
Ian Melamed, chief technical officer of Satellite Safe, said newly discovered email viruses can also be detected, blocked and deleted through the use of email filtering programs delivered to users in the same way.
"In the case of the Lovebug, companies found it impossible to obtain the updates from the web as the internet was flooded. This way the updates are delivered as soon as they are available and there is no need for someone to sit there for 24 hours, 365 days a year watching for viruses, which is the only way to be 100 per cent safe," he said.
Melamed said the satellite broadcasts are made secure with 166-key length encryption, digital signatures and a status return system to ensure the updates have been received.
He said the system will work in addition to companies' licences with antivirus vendors, and confirmed that the company currently uses around 117 antivirus sites for early warnings and updates.
The service will cost around £1.50 per user, the company said, with reductions for multiple users. There is also a minimal charge for the installation of the satellite dish.
"Charges will be pretty much in line with antivirus licence charges and customers can subscribe to several different antivirus companies' updates," he said.
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