No matter if your company is a global corporation or a small solo business, it’s important to have strong and secure antivirus software protection. Network security is a major concern in the digital age. We’ve all seen significant corporate data breaches making the news, but hackers are increasingly targeting small businesses. Small firms are seen by many cyber criminals as easy targets when it comes to stealing customers’ personal credentials, financial accounts, and other sensitive information. It’s also possible for hackers to take control of business 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 with such ransoms often costing considerable sums. That’s a particular issue if you don’t keep your business’s copies of Microsoft Windows up to date.
Data thieves see small businesses as easy pickings for very good reasons: Too many companies use substandard antivirus software (or worse yet, none at all) and even more don’t set up security measures like a firewall or real-time security software, thereby 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 set them up, but remember that a corporate network is only as safe as the office’s least-security-conscious employee. One significant help can be as simple as something like a password manager. Such software can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping things more secure. Without some sort of reliable security solution, your company will eventually attract hackers like ants to a picnic.
Which antivirus is best for a small business?
The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on reliable 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, although you do generally get what you pay for.
Many forms of antivirus protection 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 on to determine which antivirus is best for your small business.
McAfee Total Protection is a popular security solution for small businesses and for good reason. It’s an excellent 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, such as 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. That means you don’t have to wait for antivirus revisions to be released as McAfee keeps an eye on anything that looks unusual. 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 convenient solution that comes with a free trial. That way, 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 significant threats, including malware, phishing scams, ransomware, and even zero-day exploits. There’s also the option to grant or deny access to websites and applications, thereby limiting the chances of those services causing problems. It works kind of like a form of parental control which can be particularly useful in a professional setting.
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, rather than having to wait for more traditional updates.
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 360 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 360 Deluxe or Norton 360 Ultimate.
Norton 360 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 perfectly, saving you from having to pay extra for unneeded features.
For one, the software can protect against a number 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 – something that often makes a huge difference in the case of external data breaches.
In addition, there’s a firewall built into Norton 360 Standard, along with a VPN, and you have full access to Norton’s security experts. These 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.
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 will extensively protect your small business from a variety of threats, including ransomware, malware, as well as zero-day exploits. The latter is the most dangerous of the bunch as such exploits 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 (and expense) of tech support. It’ll even work with iOS and Android devices, as well as your PC or Mac.
There’s easy to use cloud-based device management too, so you’ll always be in control of the 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 that it collects from 400 million endpoints, using the cloud to effectively crowdsource information about bigger threats before they become public knowledge. What that means for you is a superior database of knowledge that should stop anything getting out of hand.
Armed with such data, Avast’s software can be used on Macs, PCs, and servers without missing a beat. 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 there’s also extensive security features in the form of a built-in firewall as well as a VPN too. Both features will help 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 Manager 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. The latter being particularly useful when it comes to sensitive files.
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.