If you manage a small business of, say, fewer than 100 employees, you no doubt have an internet security strategy. An important component of any small business security strategy is small business antivirus software, a product category that is a step up from simply installing individual-user security software on each workstation. Even though small business antivirus software is usually priced on a per-user basis with a cost that is on par with individual-user products, it often gives business owners important additional features such as the ability to install and manage all installations from a central location. We looked at the leading business antivirus products and found the best: Bitdefender Small Business Pack, Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business and F-Secure Business Suite. We referred to the objective test results from the German test lab AV-Test to help us determine the products' rankings. If business antivirus topics interest you, we invite you to read our articles about small business antivirus software.
One way to reduce the complexity of shopping for business virus protection is to focus on the following four aspects: How does it perform according to third-party test results? What features does it contain that would make a difference in your business? Does it cover all of the workstations and servers that you use? Does it provide support during the hours when you require assistance? Let's look at these questions one by one.
The way to sidestep vendor marketing hype is to discover how products perform in third-party tests. One of the leading IT security and anti-virus research providers is AV-Test, with laboratories in Magdeburg and Leipzig, Germany. The industry respects AV-Test's results, and so do we. Its labs have 24 servers joined by 280 workstations, where they simulate test environments and perform analysis. They have collected 50 million pieces of malicious test data, a collection that grows by 55,000 new items of malware every day. AV-Test's results assign a score for security software's protection, repair and usability components, which we reference in our reviews.
The key feature of business antivirus protection software is centralized installment and management of the software. In addition, every small business antivirus product in our review includes features from the best individual security software products: USB flash drive protection, registry startup protection, email protection and the ability to quarantine infected files. Small business antivirus products also usually include a firewall to give you the option to use the antivirus software with a firewall from the same vendor.
Small business virus protection products have varying degrees of scalability (essentially, the platforms that they protect). Some software can protect Windows and Mac workstations, and Windows and Linux servers. Some protect mobile devices. If you select a product that supports the highest number of platform types, you will have the most flexibility as you grow your business. Scalability also refers to the modularity of the software architecture to allow you to add functionality as it becomes necessary. We evaluated the products on our lineup for both types of scalability.
Help & Support
When you examine help and support, consider whether you will need 24/7 access to technical support or whether you can make do with more restricted hours. Some vendors only provide support via email. If you want telephone support, you need to understand the options before you purchase a support plan. Also, consider the quality of the documentation the companies provide and how active their online user groups are.
The best security software will not stop your employees from walking out of the building with a flash drive or prevent someone from taking a picture of a classified blueprint. Nevertheless, small business antivirus software is an important component of any small business security strategy. Our review of these software packages will allow you to focus on the essential questions and answers so that you can purchase the best antivirus protection for your business.
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