Security giant McAfee has announced the launch of a new virtual security platform for Amazon Web Services (AWS) which aims to provide advanced protection for businesses operating in the public cloud.

The new product, named the Virtual Network Security Platform (vNSP), has been designed to secure workloads on AWS against advanced malware which can reach a business through various channels, including cross-site scripting, SQL injection attacks and botnets.

The threat in these instances also grows if one virtual server is compromised, as malware can be transferred to other vulnerable machines in the same customer environment.

According to a McAfee release, in lieu of monitoring the entire network segment, the new vNSP works at the individual workload level. The company argues that this ensures visibility of inter-segment traffic, cancels out single point of failure risk and uses security resources more efficiently than traditional methods.

‘AWS covers a lot of ground, such as security of the cloud, but users are still responsible for their security in the cloud — including securing their operating systems, applications and data traffic,’ commented Shishir Singh, vice president and general manager of the Network Security business unit at McAfee.

‘While firewall configurations are important, security teams and cloud architects need to address exploit prevention, malware protection and gain visibility into the lateral movement of threats. With McAfee Network Security Platform, users can move beyond the basics to more sophisticated protection of their cloud network,’ he added.

The security provider is now allowing free early previews of the technology in 72-hour ‘test drive’ trials. Users will be able to conduct tests to imitate real-world cyber attacks, configure policy and review the reporting dashboards.

Earlier this year, McAfee span out of Intel Security to stand alone once again following its acquisition by Intel in 2010. Asset management firm TPG took a 51% stake in the company at a $4.2 billion (approx. £3.2 billion) valuation, while Intel retained a 49% stake.