Antivirus software is one tool businesses must always have in their cybersecurity arsenal. It’s a critical defensive solution against viruses, ransomware, and other types of malicious software, also known as malware. However, some antivirus programs are simply better matched to certain business requirements than others. In this blog, we'll discuss the factors you need to consider when purchasing antivirus software for your business.
Antivirus software can range from free to a few hundred dollars per year. You may feel tempted to settle for free solutions, but doing so may not be the smartest decision. Free antivirus software often comes with only the most basic features, likely making them sufficient for personal use but gravely inadequate for properly protecting your business. Paid antivirus software, on the other hand, typically includes a wider range of features and is more likely to be updated with the latest threat databases and security patches.
Look for antivirus software that comes with a free trial period. During this time, you can test the tool's features and qualities so you can determine if it is a good fit for your business before purchasing it. For instance, you should check if the software is compatible with the devices and other programs your business uses.
Antivirus software should run constantly in the background, checking locations and files within your devices for malware. Unfortunately, some antivirus solutions consume a lot of computing power while doing this, causing your devices to slow down. If you are using your computers for graphic design, app building, and other resource-intensive projects, using such antivirus software can contribute to delays and lead to operational disruptions. For this reason, you should choose a solution that is lightweight, which can run continuously without affecting your devices' performance.
Malware has been around for years now and it is still evolving in terms of how it infects and affects your IT systems. To address this, antivirus software should be updated regularly. However, not all antivirus providers offer this level of service. Some only provide updates for a certain amount of time after purchase, while others do not update at all. Before purchasing antivirus software, make sure to inquire about its update policy.
An antivirus software's job does not stop at detecting malware — it must also be able to remove the problem. Unfortunately, threat removal can sometimes affect the rest of your IT systems. For instance, eliminating the virus may erase some of your files as well. Therefore, you should choose an antivirus that can quarantine threats and remove them without compromising your IT system and its performance.
Many organizations continue to use email for both internal and external communications, which is why it remains a popular vector for cyberattacks today. Proof of this is the persistent threat of phishing emails. Good antivirus software should be able to scan emails, detect potentially harmful attachments, and block these from being downloaded.
As mentioned above, one of the greatest perks of paid antivirus solutions is that they have plenty of useful extra features. The features you prioritize will depend on your business's needs, but these ones are simply must-haves:
- Mobile support – In many businesses today, employees use mobile devices instead of or together with computers to perform their tasks, increasing the number of places they can work in. Choose antivirus software that covers your employees' mobile devices and protects all business data processed and stored in these machines.
- Firewall – This tool scans all traffic that enters and leaves your network, blocking those that are deemed potentially dangerous. Firewalls work hand in hand with antivirus scans to mitigate the risk of your network being infected with malware.
- Virtual private network (VPN) – A VPN creates a secure and encrypted connection between your network and your intended destination on the internet. This not only allows you to anonymously access said location, but it also protects you from potential threats. These threats include hackers looking to intercept and steal your data. Some antivirus programs come packaged with a VPN so you don’t have to buy these tools separately.
Antivirus software is crucial to your business’s cybersecurity. Our cybersecurity specialists at Complete Technology can help you find the antivirus software that best matches your company’s requirements. Find out the other ways we can maximize your business’s cyber defenses by contacting us today.