Businesses of all kinds and sizes are the main target for hackers. Data breaches happen on a regular basis all over the world and the consequences are less or more devastating, depending on the success of the cyber attack.
Almost half of all businesses in the United States have fallen victim to a form of hacking scheme last year alone. Reports show that in 2017 almost 40% of the companies in the US have also suffered data breaches and ended up losing approximately 20% of their revenue.
Small business owners are naive enough to think that they are not as targeted as big corporations when in fact, this couldn't be further from the truth. The reality is that most often than not, it's the small and medium companies that are attacked by cyber criminals, precisely because their IT department is not as strong and developed and their security is more penetrable. Small businesses and startups don't have such a big budget to dedicate to the IT department. That is why they have to think of other ways to protect their online security.
Antivirus programs have been used for the last 30 years, since the first Antivirus solution was developed. They have the same role now as they had 3 decades ago. The only thing that changed is the way Antivirus programs work, their ability to detect and block harmful files. Antivirus programs are now packed with a plethora of useful features.
Antivirus software can protect you from various malicious threats, depending on the program and its abilities: malware, spyware, Trojans, phishing, spam and other types of cyber dangers. Most of these Antivirus programs automatically scan your e-mail accounts, your device's drives, including external ones such as USB sticks and so on.
They also use two-way firewall protection and password protection, they block spam attacks and pop-up ads, which can be infected with all sorts of viruses.
Another great thing about Antivirus programs is that nowadays they have become so smart that they can actually increase your computer's performance, rather than slowing it down, as they used to. They can detect and delete unwanted files from your system and speed up your device.
When it comes to Antivirus software, there are three aspects that are taken into account when testing a program: protection, performance and usability.
Protection. Antivirus programs are tested by specialized organizations to find out how well they behave when it comes to detecting and removing online threats. They are usually tested over a longer period of time, usually at least a month The higher the score of the program, the better. AV-TEST is one of the most reputable organizations and a recognized authority when it comes to testing software.
Performance. Antivirus programs are tested for performance to see how much they slow down your computer when performing antivirus scans. You should always check the overall performance score obtained by the Antivirus program.
Usability. This is another important aspect when it comes to Antivirus solutions. Testers check to see how many false positives the program makes during virus scans. Sometimes antivirus programs mistake certain files for viruses and other online threats. The more false positives the test reveals, the worse the Antivirus is.
When choosing an Antivirus solution for your small business, you should also consider the financial aspect. You should obviously choose a paid Antivirus rather than a free one. However, do try to opt for a provider that includes a free trial, so that you can test the software before purchasing it.
User-friendliness is another aspect to consider. Aim for an Antivirus with a straightforward and easy to use interface. It is also important to be customizable.
Customer support is also very important when it comes to software of any kind. Aim for a provider that offers reliable and around the clock customer support.
Best Antivirus programs to consider for your small business
Bitdefender. One of your best options when it comes to Antivirus software for your business is Bitdefender. It is one of the most affordable, fast and rich in features Antivirus solutions on the market. Bitdefender is compatible with Macs and Windows PCs and has a plethora of useful features: firewall, automatic anti-malware, URL filtering, web advisor and much more. Bitdefender has among the highest scores when it comes to protection and performance.
BullGuard. BullGuard is another great option to consider. It is extremely user-friendly, very cost-effective and includes free 24/7 customer support. The installation process is extremely fast and simple and BullGuard lets you place under a single license all your devices.
Norton Security Standard. While it is the most basic version from Symantec, it will get the job done and protect you from all the common online threats such as ransomware, spyware, viruses and malware. You can also upgrade to Norton Security Deluxe or Norton Security Premium if you want more features.
McAfee. One of McAfee's biggest strenghts is the fact that it is one of the most complex protection security solutions available on the market. It has a plethora of products to choose from, depending on your budget and business size.
McAfee has a 30-day money back guarantee, offers 24/7 customer support and it is extremely user-friendly.
Their solution for small businesses is great if you have up to 25 devices you need to protect.
Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus. While Avast is mostly known for its free, consumer antivirus program, it also has business solutions, such as the Pro Plus. It is compatible with Mac and Windows computers, it is great when it comes to mail protection and anti-spam tools and also comes with Sharepoint and Exchange server protection. This solution from Avast is tailored for small businesses with only up to 4 devices that need to be secured.