The best antivirus products you should consider for your business

Editor - While this article is a subset of a much larger evaluation of the top 10 anti-virus products it is noteworthy that the cloud service we provide your business, Avast Business Security (Avast Business Hub | Layered IT Security Platform), is among the best of breed internet security platforms.

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It’s hard, if not darn near impossible, to have a business in the modern age without having some sort of digital presence. What follows naturally from such a presence are myriad cybersecurity risks, which in turn necessitates some sort of software to protect your systems.

Speaking of such software, there’s a lot of options. Not every business will require all the possible cybersecurity software tools, as many are created for particular types of business situations, but there is one thing that every business has: Employees.

Unfortunately, employees are one of the most likely ways for malware or bad actors to get onto a business network. Thus, one of the unavoidable pieces of cybersecurity software that you need is antivirus software. Hopefully one of the 10 business and enterprise antivirus solutions covered here will be the right fit for your business.

What is antivirus software?
For all intents and purposes, antivirus software is what it says on the package: Software that helps prevent computer virus infections. At least, that’s what it was in the 1990s when viruses were the typical form of malicious computer code. Fast forward to today, and antivirus software may be more aptly called antimalware, or just plain security software.

Modern antivirus software can detect and remove malware of practically any sort, as well as perform other security services like scanning email, monitoring web traffic and generally protecting a computer from whatever the internet throws at it.

These definitions only really apply to consumer products, which are typically the sort of antivirus software discussed above: A single application that secures a single computer. Businesses composed of more than a couple of people need to do a bit more to protect themselves, which is where a big distinction comes in: The difference between personal and business/enterprise antivirus software.

What is the difference between personal and enterprise antivirus software?
As mentioned above, there are a lot of different business cybersecurity software products, each designed to do something a little different or protect something specialized. In this case we’re talking about the workstations that every employee sits in front of, which themselves need a special form of security software known as endpoint security software.

Endpoints encompass any device that serves as the end of a network connection, like a laptop, tablet, smartphone, IoT device and other similar hardware. Endpoint security software, therefore, is designed to do everything necessary to protect both the endpoint hardware itself as well as the business network it operates on.

There are two typical types of endpoint security software: Endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) and endpoint detect and response software (EDR). U.K.-based cybersecurity company Redscan breaks down the difference between EPP and EDR succinctly, first describing EPPs as “an integrated security solution designed to detect and block threats at device level. Typically, this includes antivirus, anti-malware, data encryption, personal firewalls, intrusion prevention (IPS) and data loss prevention (DLP).”

EDR, on the other hand, is a totally different cybersecurity paradigm. “EDR platforms are cyber security systems that combine elements of next-gen antivirus with additional tools to provide real-time anomaly detection and alerting, forensic analysis and endpoint remediation capabilities,” Redscan said.

EPPs are very much like traditional antivirus software, in that it works on the same signature-based detection that relies on a database of known malware to detect threats. EDRs, on the other hand, use a variety of different tools, often machine learning and AI-based, to detect anomalous activity.

This list of 10 different antivirus products for business doesn’t cover all the possible security solutions that a company would want. Rather, EDR and EPP software, which for our purposes here can be called antivirus software that protects user computers, is what we’re concerned with.

If you have employees, you have computers. If you have computers, you need some sort of antivirus, so hopefully one of these 10 is the right one for you.

A note on enterprise antivirus pricing
Many of the products offered by the vendors in this list fall into either, and sometimes both, the EDR and EPP categories. As mentioned above, antivirus software has evolved a lot over the years, to the point where it’s almost impossible to separate antivirus and antimalware capabilities from other aspects of cybersecurity.

That said, there aren’t prices on many of these products for the very reason that they aren’t offered as standalone products. Just as a company wouldn’t arm its sales team with only part of a CRM platform, these EDR and EPP products can only go so far alone.

Additional portions of an enterprise security solution include firewalls, managed detection and response software, secure internet gateways, VPNs, data loss prevention software, cloud security software, a dashboard for managing endpoints and actionable feedback delivered via AI-based analytics.

Best enterprise antivirus software options

Of the products included in this list, Avast is the one that’s truly a small and medium business-centric product. It doesn’t even offer an enterprise product tier, instead offering three levels of service.
The basic level leaves out a VPN, webcam protection, password protection and patch management, all of which are nice to have, but not necessary.

What sort of businesses is Avast Business Security for?
As mentioned above, Avast is a small business product, and it’s unique among the 10 items in this list in that regard. For that very reason, anyone who falls into the SMB category should consider Avast: They’re tailored toward your type of business, so you’ll get the type of support you need, hopefully.

 Source - Brandon Vigliarolo – 8 March 2020 - TechRepublic