Whether your company is a global corporation or a small single-owner enterprise, it’s important to have strong and secure antivirus software protection. Network security is a serious concern in the digital age. We’ve all seen major corporate data breaches making the news, but hackers are increasingly targeting small businesses. Such firms are seen by many cyber criminals as ripe targets for the theft of customers’ personal credentials, financial accounts, and other sensitive information. Hackers have also resorted to taking control of networks via nefarious forms of malware and ransomware in a bid to lock them down altogether. By doing so, they effectively hold companies hostage until a ransom is paid. That’s a particular issue if you don’t keep your business’s copies of Microsoft Windows up to date.
Such data thieves see small businesses as easy pickings for good reasons: Too many companies use substandard antivirus software (or worse yet, none at all) and even more don’t set up any sort of firewall or real-time security software, thus leaving their networks open for hackers. Security suites can seem complicated to the average user, so it’s only natural that some business owners are hesitant to bother with it, but remember that a corporate network is only as safe as the office’s least-security-conscious employee. In particular, a simple password manager can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping things more secure. Without some sort of sound security solution, your company will eventually attract hackers like ants to a picnic.
Which antivirus is best for small businesses?
The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on dependable antivirus and firewall software. Even free antivirus software can go some way to protecting your small business from any malware or ransomware threats in a real-time manner. Many don’t just stop with PCs either with a growing trend towards supporting mobile devices as your smartphone can also be at risk. An up-to-date antivirus solution will detect and prevent many of the tactics and attacks that cybercriminals employ today, thwarting their efforts before they cause problems. We’ve compiled a list of five outstanding antivirus and security suite software packages that can help to keep your network safer and more secure against ongoing threats. Read more to determine which antivirus is best for your small business.
McAfee Total Protection is a popular security solution for small businesses. It’s a great place to start with finding the security suite for you, covering multiple devices at a good price.
McAfee Total Protection includes the basics you’d want from a security suite, including antivirus protection, a built-in firewall, and password manager features. It uses machine learning to identify code that might be trying to cause problems solely by the way it’s acting and appearing on your network. If you want to stop zero-day malware or malicious software that hasn’t yet been patched, you can contain it by blocking certain types of behaviors common in malware.
McAfee Total Protection is an ideal solution for most individuals or companies, from the sole proprietor to a small business or mid-sized company. Prices start at $45 for the first year for one device, or $55 for the first year for up to ten devices. It works across all platforms including Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
BitDefender GravityZone Business Security is a handy solution that comes with a free trial, so you can see what you’ll get for the price, without having to pay up immediately.
The app is designed to protect you from a variety of threats, including malware, phishing scams, ransomware, and even zero-day exploits. There’s also the ability to grant or deny access to websites and applications to limit the chances of those services causing problems. It works kind of like a form of parental control.
Like some other solutions in this roundup, you’ll find that BitDefender’s GravityZone Business Security uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to continuously monitor your network and find possible problems. Since much of that intelligence comes from the cloud, whenever it finds issues elsewhere, it informs other users’ systems to look out for similar problems. That all results in a much faster response to new threats that may emerge.
BitDefender is designed for small and medium-sized business, and is available with a free trial. After that, if you like what you see, you have a few choices for payment. For up to 3 devices, expect to pay $80 for the year with that price increasing depending on how many devices you need to protect. For instance, up to 10 devices cost $260 per year.
Norton Security Standard is an ideal choice for anyone who wants to secure a single PC, Mac, or mobile device from viruses, ransomware, and malware, and doesn’t necessarily need all of the bells and whistles that would come with the higher-end options, like Norton Security Deluxe or Norton Security Premium.
Norton Security Standard gets the job done on many fronts, despite seeming like the lesser of Norton’s packages. For the smallest of businesses such as a sole trader or freelancer, it’s got things covered.
For one, you can use the software to protect against a rash of threats, including ransomware, viruses, spyware, and malware. When you go online, the software will keep your financial and private information protected from the prying eyes of hackers. It also includes a password manager to make it extra simple for you to use complex passwords to protect your data.
In addition, there’s a firewall baked into Norton Security Standard, along with a VPN, and you have full access to Norton security experts. Those experts can walk you through solutions to problems any time they occur. In fact, Norton is so sure that its service works that if a Norton expert can’t keep your device free from malware and other threats, you’ll get a free refund.
Norton Security Standard is regularly available for $80 per device, per year. For the first year, you can take advantage of an introductory price of $40. It’s not really a corporate solution, so it wouldn’t be best for small businesses. It would, however, be an ideal solution for freelancers and other sole proprietors.
Working a lot like Symantec’s previous small business focused security suite, Endpoint Protection 14, comes Norton Small Business. With Endpoint Protection 14 now discontinued, Norton Small Business picks up the slack with extensive features that are sure to protect your small business from a variety of threats, including ransomware, malware, as well as zero-day exploits. The latter is the riskiest of the bunch as they can wreak havoc on your machines before any developer has caught up with a patch.
Powered by the same protection engine that’s trusted by Fortune 500 companies, Norton Small Business provides security for you, no matter how big or small your growing firm is. You can add protection on a prorated basis so you don’t pay for anything you don’t actually need. Best of all, your employees can sign up simply via an email containing step-by-step instructions for their device so it’s never too complicated, saving you valuable time and the need for tech support. It’ll even work with mobile devices, as well as your PC or Mac.
There’s easy to use cloud-based device management too, so you’ll always feel in control of antivirus software across your company, even if your firm is spread out geographically.
Norton Small Business starts priced at $100 per year for up to 5 devices with that price increasing to $150 for 10 devices.
Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus is another solution ideal for the small business. According to Avast, its security intelligence is based on the information it collects from 400 million endpoints, using the cloud to effectively crowdsource information about bigger threats before they become public knowledge. Armed with that data, Avast’s software can be used on Macs, PCs, and servers. According to the vendor, it’s best for small businesses that need it for four devices or less. If you need something a bit more powerful, you can opt for the company’s antivirus connected to its Cloud Management Console. That’s designed for five devices or more. Avast’s solution is designed to protect your computer against viruses, of course, but it can also protect you with its built-in firewall. On top of that is a VPN too, which helps keep your network more secure and private from the outside world, while also giving you a certain amount of anonymity while browsing.
There’s also a Behavior Shield, Web Shield, and Email Shield built-in to protect you from everything, from malicious programs to suspicious emails. It’ll even spot if someone is trying to access your webcam without permission via the Webcam Shield feature. If Avast finds a file that looks suspicious but can’t quite figure out if it is, it will send it off to its Threat Lab to be analyzed, protecting you in the meantime. A form of Password Manage is also bundled in.
One other tidbit: the software comes with a Software Defender feature for keeping your apps updated, as well as a Data Shredder to let you permanently delete files you don’t want to recover.
Avast’s Business Antivirus Pro Plus comes with a 30-day free trial. If you like it, you can keep it for $60 per device, per year.
If you’re looking for personal protection at the lowest cost possible, we’ve also found the best free antivirus software to help you out.
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