Not stopping malware, viruses and other cyber attacks can crush your business. The Business Continuity Institute BCI , a global organization for business continuity professionals with more than 8, members, characterizes digital threats as the gravest risk facing companies today. The Institute's annual Horizon Scan Report notes that cyberattacks, data breaches and network outages are the top concerns among business continuity professionals when they discuss the risks their companies face.
MIT released its predictions of the types of cyber security threats small businesses need to be most concerned about in Among them are more breeches of massive consumer databases like Equifax, a phenomenon MIT estimates will only become more common this year. This impacts not just Equifax as a big company, but consumers and small businesses across the country because of the amount of data compromised.
And it points out how easy it can be for a smaller company's database to get breached as well. Another concern is ransomware in cloud-based technology. Any company or individual who has information stored on cloud technology could be at risk if hackers get access to the cloud and hold that data hostage.
As AI becomes better at imitating real people online, hackers will have new ways to trick unsuspecting users into installing malicious software on their companies' computers. Finally, MIT pointed out the potential of cyber-physical attacks, such as those targeting electrical grids, and the mining of cryptocurrencies, which can actually translate into theft of computer processing power.
Large corporations can spend millions defending themselves against cyberattacks. Most small companies, however, don't have those kinds of resources, resulting in many business owners looking for inexpensive or even free antivirus software solutions. Sadly, many settle for less-than-optimal solutions, and some aren't taking sufficient steps to protect themselves.
However, the converse is true. Some hackers focus on small businesses precisely because they lack the defenses that large corporations have constructed. A small company can be a juicy target. For example, retailers have customer credit card data and personal financial information. Once a computer or network has been infected with malware, hackers can commandeer company systems to perpetrate other attacks on larger partner companies.
And let's not forget ransomware. Once the nefarious enemy has infiltrated your system, hackers can freeze company data and demand a large payment to release it. Since many small businesses don't backup their data consistently, they'll have no choice other than to pay up. These kinds of attacks can be devastating for a small company. Given the enormous expense and damage that a cyber attack can inflict, choosing the right antivirus software program is a vital decision. We've reviewed a number of the software offerings on the market.
The array of choices can be dizzying, but we've identified some of the best antivirus providers for small- to medium-sized companies. We'll give you the pros, cons and bottom line on some of the best-known names in antivirus software so you can make the right decision to keep your business safe from digital predators.
Trend Micro's OfficeScan It also received perfect scores in detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the four weeks prior to testing. Trend Micro OfficeScan also had perfect scores when it came to usability and performance. OfficeScan is available for Windows and Macs, as well as Android and Apple operating systems, and even has a free trial available to download from the company's website.
These advanced solutions include the following features: Best Antivirus Software for Small Businesses that Need Flexible Options Panda Endpoint Protection Plus has nearly every option a small business could want, with a variety of features in both security and management.
Features include internet protection, web site blocking, and email protection as well as firewall monitoring and anti-theft feature that can lock or wipe clean a device that's been stolen or lost.
You can use cloud or on-premises hosting, although with the latter option you may need more equipment and more IT expertise in-house. Both options give you a centralized management dashboard that makes it easy to see network activity, view reports for individual computers, and create customized user categories and security policies. For example, you might not want all of your employees enjoying access to Facebook and other time-wasting social media during business hours, but this access may be necessary for employees in roles like sales or marketing.
It's probably wise to speak with a representative to understand the best pricing options for the features you need. G Data AntiVirus Business: The downside is that the product can be both difficult and time consuming to install. If you don't have in-house IT support, you may need outside assistance in both installing the software and for ongoing management.
The plethora of features for users includes internet and email protection, spam blocking, and the ability to block particular categories of web sites.
A robust firewall will filter network traffic and block any pernicious attempts to gain access to your network. Anti-theft protection is available for most devices, and will enable you to lock or wipe devices that have vanished. A file shredder is available to permanently erase deleted files that still exist on the device.
You also get online banking and browser protection, defense against manipulated USB devices, anti-ransomware and more. Pricing information isn't available online, so you'll have to contact a company representative to get a quote. Our Methodology To find the best antivirus software for small businesses, we began by talking to business owners themselves, as well as some of the IT professionals who advise them.
We asked them to talk about their choice of antivirus software, what features are the most important to them, what informed their choice of provider, what they love about their current antivirus software, and what they think is missing. Cost is always a consideration, but users are typically concerned with protection and performance as well as ease of use.
Ariana Meyers, owner of Right at Home, a Marin County, California provider of in-home care for senior citizens, noted that price and reputation were a deciding factor in her choice of Norton Symantec. We also did extensive research online, reading hundreds of consumer reviews and complaints, and poring through numerous review web sites.
Then we narrowed down our list of antivirus programs to the most commonly mentioned names. With the short list of 12 antivirus programs in hand, we scrutinized each company's website to compare and contrast the options offered. We watched their tutorial videos and reviewed the customer resources offered by each. Based on our research, we developed these criteria, which we used to evaluate each provider: AV-Test scores Impact on system speed and performance Protection against malware.
Direct link: They offer reliable, fully-featured and effective protection for businesses up and down the country. Although let's not get carried away - by choosing Bitdefender, you're choosing a pretty lengthy setup and installation process. However, once you've set it up, you're in for a treat. Automatic anti-malware, firewall, web advisor and URL filtering are all supported and for those managing multiple devices, both internally or externally, you'll be able to remotely control them, grant application or website access or deny it and block the access of sensitive data.
Its admin dashboard is simple to use, and will display each device you have protected, and what features they have enabled on them. There is a drawback, however. Bitdefender does not support device location services for stolen laptops or phones and it is missing a file shredder, so you might need to invest in additional software if these are important for you.
Bitdefender Endpoint 6. It only lost a half mark for usability, due to some false detections of legitimate software as malware during a system scan. You can start a free trial of the software and find out more about pricing here. Setup and management is through the cloud, keeping it simple.
Norton is notable for being a very good value option. It offers great email protection, anti-spam and provides a solid firewall as well. This tool has a tracking feature which scans files, URLs and email attachments to protect your business from malware, spyware and adware. Furthermore, it offers Sharepoint and Exchange server protection which removes any malicious content from your inbox and hard drive. There is no mobile version available, unlike Bitdefender and McAfee. However, it is an effective antivirus for your desktop, so it is still worth your consideration.
Find out more about Avast antivirus business software here. Webroot For those wanting an all-in-one protection platform, Webroot has you covered.
As well as antivirus, you'll be able to take advantage of browser protection, an outbound firewall, remote management and an identity and privacy shield. Behaviour monitoring is also included, which is becoming ever more necessary.
Webroot's package only takes up 2MB of disk space - minuscule compared to others listed here. And this lightweight software means that it's one of the fastest too.
Because it's cloud based, you'll no longer have beefy updates to perform. In fact, you won't even notice updates anymore. For home office users, you'll be able to choose from three effective antivirus and PC protection tools.
All provide real-time anti-phishing protection, browsing security and firewall and network connection monitoring Find out more about pricing here. This antivirus software is only available in the cloud, so is ideal for managing remote devices and multiple networks, as well as keeping data as secure as it can be. McAfee business users will receive very good protection, stopping malicious activity before it enters your network across desktops, laptops and file servers.
You'll also get solid email and web protection packed with URL filtering, spyware protection and vulnerability scanning to find potential exploits in your network. McAfee does this by performing daily IP vulnerability scans and providing reports offing tips on how to best remove the possible danger. The real selling point for McAfee Security for Business is its management. You'll be able to set policies and view detailed reports, all from its integrated online dashboard.
However, there is one problem: While McAfee does offer a good level of protection, you might see your PC or laptop slow down quite a bit. This issue resulted in McAfee Endpoint Security losing a mark for performance in a AV-Test , although it received full marks for both protection and performance.
This is the case with most antivirus software, and something that McAfee will be tackling itself, but you'll need to ask whether your prepared to lose some speed to this endpoint security system. Find out more about pricing here.
Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud Russian vendor Kaspersky's antivirus software is one of the best out there. Its feature-rich endpoint security software includes strong antivirus, browsing protection, device and web controls, a firewall and remote management.
You can wipe company devices if necessary, control the level of online protection and make sure every network entry point is being monitored. What sets Kaspersky apart is its mobile security. Its impressive tools mean you can detect insecure devices, filter unwanted calls and texts, set password rules and even control the use of the camera.
All of this wizardry can be accessed by its simple, and well designed online dashboard. It offers extensive antivirus and endpoint protection for all business sizes. And while it does have negatives, in regards to protection, it is a beast. There are downsides, quite a few, but not loads. F-Secure does have solid detection rates, but it also does come back with higher than average false detections. And it is only available on Windows, which isn't great if you have a mixed device office.
However, at its core, it is a solid choice, including everything you'll need to protect your business including a firewall, intrusion detection, browsing safety, online transaction protection and device control, as well as antivirus protection against all major threats of course.
However, it lost a staggering 50 percent on usability due to problems of false detection of non-malicious software. Find out more details about pricing here. Sophos Endpoint Protection Advanced Sophos Endpoint Protection offers solid levels of protection with an antivirus that detects and removes all major malicious content from both Windows PCs, Macs and whole networks.
By using behaviour monitoring, Sophos can detect possible infections and block them at entry points. It also supports both on-premise and the cloud and provides a central management console, you'll be able to assess your network and take advantage of Sophos' web, application and firewall controls. Like most heavy-duty endpoint security software and antivirus packages, Sophos will slow your PC down, but if you've got a high enough spec machine, this shouldn't be that noticeable, if at all.
But for most of us that have mid-range business laptops, you can notice a slow down, and that should be a factor in your buying decision. On a AV-Test , Sophos Endpoint Security and Control scored full marks for usability, but lost half a mark and one mark for protection and performance respectively. Find out more about the pricing of Sophos Business packages here. This antivirus software comes packed with the usual features including a ransomware shield mobile device management, anti-spam, email security and web content filtering.
Trend Micro will also scan external devices and USB ports for any malicious activity and content, which is a great added bonus. Now, to the downsides. But if you can make it through, the performance and level of protection is truly excellent. Trend Micro will keep your systems protected with few, if any false detections and without slowing down your systems too much. On a AV-Test , Trend Micro Office Scan 12 scored full marks for protection, performance and usability - a highly impressive result.
Find out more about Trend Micro's pricing here. Panda Endpoint Protection Plus Panda has a wide range of antivirus and security software on offer for business and enterprise users, but our favourite is its Endpoint Protection Plus.
This impressive antivirus suite has an excellent record of blocking all known types of malware including those that exploit unknown flaws in your networks or systems. You'll also receive good protection from malicious content being sent over the internet, email and online messaging platforms, all from the comfort of the cloud.
Plus, to tackle online information theft, Panda Endpoint Protection Plus offers remote data wiping and device locking.
However, like many listed, Panda can suffer from performance issues, in some cases making machines slower than usual. Find out more about Panda's pricing here. Symantec Endpoint Protection Symantec offers two extremely capable products: Let's start with its cloud-based endpoint protection.
This all sounds pretty complicated but because it's in the cloud, the set up is minimal, if you're speedy it can be done in five minutes. Users will also be able to watch real-time updates on how their network and devices are performing and flag up any issues. The dashboard really is easy to use and all devices, including tablets, PCs and laptops are protected across Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
For larger organisations choosing Symantec Endpoint Protection 14, you'll receive 'artificial intelligence fused with critical endpoint technologies'. This means that it pulls data from over million systems in as many countries to identify common patterns and provide each piece of information with a security rating.
Both Symantec products are not the most cost effective listed, but they are still reasonable considering the power behind them. This tool detects and removes all types of malware including rootkits, worms and spyware. ESET Endpoint is feature rich, offering remote management, web filtering and device control, allowing you to scan removable devices for hidden threats.
Its anti-phishing element protects your online privacy and prevents websites, suspicious downloads and emails from gaining sensitive information. It is only available on Windows, however, it does run in the background of programmes and schedules scans when idle. Next Up: Check out these related slideshows.