Best antivirus software for business

With cyber attacks on the rise, keeping company data as secure as possible is on the mind of all IT managers, CIOs and digital decision-makers across the UK.

According to CNBC, only 2 percent of small businesses in the US consider a cyber attack the most critical issue facing them, with more than half of small to medium businesses having faced a breach. It's likely to be similar for the UK.

This might be because many small businesses mistakenly believe that their size makes them a non-target for attackers.

However, attackers may specifically target small businesses for this reason because they do not have as impenetrable cybersecurity measures in place.

The devastating effect of these attacks can't be understated - a 2017 Cisco report found that 38 percent of companies that suffered a breach lost 20 percent of revenues.

Therefore, the importance of choosing the right antivirus software should not be underestimated.

Read on for the best antivirus for business and enterprise users.

See also: Best firewalls 2017

Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security

Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security

Bitdefender's security productsare no-brainers. They offer reliable, fully-featured and effective protection for businesses up and down the country.

Although let's not get carried away - by choosing Bitdefender, you're choosing a pretty lengthy setup and installation process.

However, once you've set it up, you're in for a treat. Automatic anti-malware, firewall, web advisor and URL filtering are all supported and for those managing multiple devices, both internally or externally, you'll be able to remotely control them, grant application or website access (or deny it) and block the access of sensitive data.

Its admin dashboard is simple to use, and will display each device you have protected, and what features they have enabled on them.

There is a drawback, however. Bitdefender does not support device location services for stolen laptops or phones and it is missing a file shredder, so you might need to invest in additional software if these are important for you.

Bitdefender Endpoint 6.2 scored full marks in a 2018 AV-Test examining 'the best antivirus software for Windows Client Business User' on both protection and performance. It only lost a half mark for usability, due to some false detections of legitimate software as malware during a system scan.

You can start a free trial of the software and find out more about pricing here.

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Rob Schultz / IDG

Norton Small Business

Norton Small Businessprovides the same protection used by the world's biggest companies but tailored to smaller enterprises. It offers protection across different devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, meaning that there is only one solution required for in-office and remote devices.

Setup and management is through the cloud, keeping it simple.

Norton is notable for being a very good value option. A package supporting 10 devices is £84.99 for the first year, and £114.99 for up to 20 devices.

Avast Business Antivirus Pro

Avast Business Antivirus Pro

Available on Windows and Mac OS, Avast Business Antivirus Pro is a cloud-based antivirus. It offers great email protection, anti-spam and provides a solid firewall as well.

This tool has a tracking feature which scans files, URLs and email attachments to protect your business from malware, spyware and adware. Furthermore, it offers Sharepoint and Exchange server protection which removes any malicious content from your inbox and hard drive.

There is no mobile version available, unlike Bitdefender and McAfee. However, it is an effective antivirus for your desktop, so it is still worth your consideration.

On a 2018 AV-Test,  Antivirus Business scored very highly - full marks for protection and only half a mark lost for both usability and performance.

Find out more about Avast antivirus business software here.

Webroot

Webroot

For those wanting an all-in-one protection platform, Webroot has you covered. Its Secure Anywhere Business Endpoint Protection works via the cloud to bring you excellent malware protection and the ability to recover systems that are already compromised.

As well as antivirus, you'll be able to take advantage of browser protection, an outbound firewall, remote management and an identity and privacy shield.

Behaviour monitoring is also included, which is becoming ever more necessary.

Webroot's package only takes up 2MB of disk space - minuscule compared to others listed here. And this lightweight software means that it's one of the fastest too.

Because it's cloud based, you'll no longer have beefy updates to perform. In fact, you won't even notice updates anymore.

For home office users, you'll be able to choose from three effective antivirus and PC protection tools.

All provide real-time anti-phishing protection, browsing security and firewall and network connection monitoring

Find out more about pricing here.

McAfee Security for Business

McAfee Security for Business

Another excellent choice is McAfee Security for Business. This antivirus software is only available in the cloud, so is ideal for managing remote devices and multiple networks, as well as keeping data as secure as it can be.

McAfee business users will receive very good protection, stopping malicious activity before it enters your network across desktops, laptops and file servers.

You'll also get solid email and web protection packed with URL filtering, spyware protection and vulnerability scanning to find potential exploits in your network.

McAfee does this by performing daily IP vulnerability scans and providing reports offing tips on how to best remove the possible danger.

The real selling point for McAfee Security for Business is its management. You'll be able to set policies and view detailed reports, all from its integrated online dashboard.

However, there is one problem: Performace.

While McAfee does offer a good level of protection, you might see your PC or laptop slow down quite a bit. This issue resulted in McAfee Endpoint Security losing a mark for performance in a 2018 AV-Test, although it received full marks for both protection and performance.

This is the case with most antivirus software, and something that McAfee will be tackling itself, but you'll need to ask whether your prepared to lose some speed to this endpoint security system.

Find out more about pricing here.

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud

Kaspersky Endpoint Security Cloud

Russian vendor Kaspersky's antivirus software is one of the best out there. Its feature-rich endpoint security software includes strong antivirus, browsing protection, device and web controls, a firewall and remote management.

You can wipe company devices if necessary, control the level of online protection and make sure every network entry point is being monitored.

What sets Kaspersky apart is its mobile security. Its impressive tools mean you can detect insecure devices, filter unwanted calls and texts, set password rules and even control the use of the camera.

All of this wizardry can be accessed by its simple, and well designed online dashboard.

A 2018 AV-Test scored Kaspersky's Small Office Security an impressive full marks for protection, performance and usability.

Find out more about pricing here.

It is worth noting that Kaspersky hit the headlines in 2017 however, after the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned the UK Government not to use the Russian antivirus software, amid claims that the Russia government has the intent "to target UK central Government and the UK's critical national infrastructure".

Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky has denied that he has ties to the Russian government, arguing that he would leave Russia if he was ever pressured to compromise his business.

So, while the UK government will be avoiding Russian security software, the NCSC "see no compelling case at present to extend that advice to wider public sector, more general enterprises, or individuals... We really don’t want people doing things like ripping out Kaspersky software at large, as it makes little sense.”

F-Secure Client Security

F-Secure Client Security

No Windows antivirus buying decision should be made without looking at F-Secure Client Security Standard.

It offers extensive antivirus and endpoint protection for all business sizes. And while it does have negatives, in regards to protection, it is a beast.

There are downsides, quite a few, but not loads. F-Secure does have solid detection rates, but it also does come back with higher than average false detections. And it is only available on Windows, which isn't great if you have a mixed device office.

However, at its core, it is a solid choice, including everything you'll need to protect your business including a firewall, intrusion detection, browsing safety, online transaction protection and device control, as well as antivirus protection against all major threats of course.

A 2018 AV-Test scored F-Secure PSB Computer Protection full marks for protection and almost full marks for performance. However, it lost a staggering 50 percent on usability due to problems of false detection of non-malicious software.

Find out more details about pricing here.

Sophos Endpoint Protection Advanced

Sophos Endpoint Protection Advanced

Sophos Endpoint Protectionoffers solid levels of protection with an antivirus that detects and removes all major malicious content from both Windows PCs, Macs and whole networks.

By using behaviour monitoring, Sophos can detect possible infections and block them at entry points. It also supports both on-premise and the cloud and provides a central management console, you'll be able to assess your network and take advantage of Sophos' web, application and firewall controls.

Like most heavy-duty endpoint security software and antivirus packages, Sophos will slow your PC down, but if you've got a high enough spec machine, this shouldn't be that noticeable, if at all.

But for most of us that have mid-range business laptops, you can notice a slow down, and that should be a factor in your buying decision.

On a 2018 AV-Test, Sophos Endpoint Security and Control scored full marks for usability, but lost half a mark and one mark for protection and performance respectively.

Find out more about the pricing of Sophos Business packages here.

Trend Micro\'s Worry-Free Business Security Advanced

Trend Micro's Worry-Free Business Security Advanced

Perhaps a lengthy name, Trend Micro's Worry-Free Business Security Advanced antivirus should definitely be considered in your hunt for the perfect antivirus.

This antivirus software comes packed with the usual features including a ransomware shield mobile device management, anti-spam, email security and web content filtering.

Trend Micro will also scan external devices and USB ports for any malicious activity and content, which is a great added bonus.

Now, to the downsides. The installation process isn't the fastest, if we're honest it's pretty tricky. But if you can make it through, the performance and level of protection is truly excellent.

Trend Micro will keep your systems protected with few, if any false detections and without slowing down your systems too much.

Trend Micro can also be used on servers, as well as Windows PCs, Macs and iOS and Android devices.

On a 2018 AV-Test, Trend Micro Office Scan 12 scored full marks for protection, performance and usability - a highly impressive result.

Find out more about Trend Micro's pricing here.

Panda Endpoint Protection Plus

Panda Endpoint Protection Plus

Panda has a wide range of antivirus and security software on offer for business and enterprise users, but our favourite is its Endpoint Protection Plus.

This impressive antivirus suite has an excellent record of blocking all known types of malware including those that exploit unknown flaws in your networks or systems.

You'll also receive good protection from malicious content being sent over the internet, email and online messaging platforms, all from the comfort of the cloud.

Plus, to tackle online information theft, Panda Endpoint Protection Plus offers remote data wiping and device locking.

However, like many listed, Panda can suffer from performance issues, in some cases making machines slower than usual.

Find out more about Panda's pricing here.

Symantec Endpoint Protection

Symantec Endpoint Protection

Symantec offers two extremely capable products: Symantec Endpoint Protection 14 and Symantec Endpoint Protection Cloud. The biggest difference is evident, one is cloud-based and aimed at small to medium sized businesses and the other is for larger teams.

Let's start with its cloud-based endpoint protection. This features 'intelligent security' which means it uses machine learning techniques and Symantec’s Global Intelligence Network to monitor and spot malicious activity and intruders.

This all sounds pretty complicated but because it's in the cloud, the set up is minimal, if you're speedy it can be done in five minutes.

Users will also be able to watch real-time updates on how their network and devices are performing and flag up any issues. The dashboard really is easy to use and all devices, including tablets, PCs and laptops are protected across Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.

On a 2018 AV-Test, Symantec Endpoint Protection Cloud 22.11 scored full marks for protection, performance and usability.

For larger organisations choosing Symantec Endpoint Protection 14, you'll receive 'artificial intelligence fused with critical endpoint technologies'. This means that it pulls data from over 200 million systems in as many countries to identify common patterns and provide each piece of information with a security rating.

Unsurprisingly, Symantec Endpoint Protection 14 is offered on-premise but it does provide protection across various devices and virtual environments.

Both Symantec products are not the most cost effective listed, but they are still reasonable considering the power behind them.

Buy Symantec Endpoint Protection 14 and Symantec Endpoint Protection Cloud here.

ESET Antivirus

ESET Antivirus

Another excellent choice is ESET NOD32 Antivirus, which is only available on-premise.

This tool detects and removes all types of malware including rootkits, worms and spyware. ESET Endpoint is feature rich, offering remote management, web filtering and device control, allowing you to scan removable devices for hidden threats.

ESET’s blocking tool supports web browsers, PDF readers and office applications – including Java-based software. Its anti-phishing element protects your online privacy and prevents websites, suspicious downloads and emails from gaining sensitive information.

It is only available on Windows, however, it does run in the background of programmes and schedules scans when idle. ESET NOD32 Antivirus costs vary depending on how many devices you want to secure.

Get ESET NOD32 Antivirus here.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.