Research and reports
As people become more savvy about how their data is used, it’s important the businesses they trust have adequate protection in place against cyber threats.
Cyber-attacks against UK firms increased throughout 2017, so businesses need to be ready to defend themselves.
Ransomware, data breaches, and supply chain weaknesses have already crippled some businesses, with the National Cyber Security Centre revealing that 34 ‘significant’ cyber-attacks took place between October 2016 and the end of 2017.
Small businesses might think their size means they’ll be overlooked, but the hackers know that smaller companies are often unprepared to deal with an attack.
That’s why we’ve carried out some research to find out the best small business antivirus software. The software we list have been reviewed well and perform strongly in AV-Comparative's Real-World Protection report, but as your business will have unique needs, it’s important to do your own research before making a choice.
As your business grows, so does your customer base – and the data you store. And everytime you do business over the internet, you’re opening your network up to whatever the outside world might throw at it.
While a consumer-level product might be suitable if you’re a one-man-band operating from a single laptop, if you have lots of devices with multiple users, you’d better get some more protection.
It’s not just the devices that stay put in your office that need protection, either. When a device like an employee’s mobile connects to your network, someone could hack in on that connection. So, a good antivirus package will have ‘endpoint protection’, which monitors all the devices that have access to your network.
Ideally, you’d have an IT security expert protecting you, but you might not have the budget to hire someone full-time. That’s why choosing the right software package is important.
Most of these options have a trial period you can take advantage of, and will have a dedicated team you can speak to before making your choice.
And they all follow the ‘software as a service’ model, where the manufacturers host the applications and make them available over the internet. This should make managing them simple.
Panda Endpoint Protection Plus has been reviewed well, achieving four out of five stars in a PC Mag review from March 2018.
It’s available for Windows, Linux, OSX, and Android devices. On AV-Comparitive’s report, Panda has a 100 per cent protection score, a success rate shared only with two other programs.
The suite has a management console that’s well-designed, but experts say it also suffers from performance issues from time to time. This means it can slow down your machines.
But a good range of features – as well as impressive support – make Panda Endpoint Protection Plus a small business antivirus option worth considering.
Bitdefender is another company that scored a 100 per cent protection rate in AV-Comparative’s report. PC Mag awarded it four out of five stars and gave it an ‘editor’s choice’ award.
Whether it’s Windows or Mac, Bitdefender should work on the systems you have in your office – and there’s support for iOS and Android, too.
Experts say that despite a lengthy setup and installation process, the program is simple to use. Anti-malware, firewall, web advisor, and URL filtering are all supported, but the suite’s drawbacks include no options for device location services - so, if you’re worried about laptops or phones being stolen, you might want to have a look at extra software.
But with an intuitive design and strong scores in performance tests, Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security is an option to consider.
McAfee Endpoint Security for business is another option on the list that reported a 100 per cent protection rate on the AV-Comparative report.
PC Mag gave it a ‘good’ rating of 3.5, with experts criticising the user interface but lauding its protections.
It has good reporting capabilities and feels like a professional program, so take a look at it when you’re researching your options.
Avast is one of the largest anti-malware providers in the world, and this option for small businesses is available on Windows and Mac. TechRadar Pro gave it four out of five stars in a review from September 2017.
On AV-Comparative’s report, Avast has a 99.7 per cent protection rate. While TechRadar says Avast’s software provides effective endpoint protection for desktops, it doesn’t directly support mobiles.
That being said, it does have a good number of features, including the basics like a solid antivirus program, real-time file, email, and download scans, and a smart URL blocking feature. It also has Sharepoint and Exchange server protection.
PC Mag gave this option four out of five stars and said that while it lags behind the option from Bitdefender, it’s still a solid choice.
MRG Effitas, an independent IT security testing and research firm, gave the software its ‘ransomware protection badge’ in 2017, which means it protected all files in all test cases.
The software has an easy-to-use interface and a good cloud portal, which means administration is a breeze.
With ‘water-tight’ endpoint security services, according to Alphr.com, Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Service could be worth a look.
Sam has more than 10 years of experience in writing for financial services. He specialises in illuminating complicated topics, from IR35 to ISAs, and identifying emerging trends that audiences want to know about. Sam spent five years at Simply Business, where he was Senior Copywriter.
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