Choosing an anti-virus application to protect your work terminals doesn’t just protect your employees, it protects your customers too. Faulty browser plugins, malicious pop-ups and excessive downloads all present a risk to the systems on your network. Anti-virus programs can be similar at a cursory glance, but each has a feature set that might be ideal for your business.
CNET tested Norton Antivirus 2013, which is part of a larger suite of apps meant to provide total protection to users. It will complete a full system scan in roughly an hour. One test looked at bootup time increases and found that Norton can increase a computer’s startup by up to six seconds. Norton comes with PC Tune Up programs as well as backup and restore tools. AV-Test.org gave the suite 5.0 out of 6 for protection; CNET notes that Norton will keep users protected, but they do not consider it to be the most comprehensive anti-virus program.
Kaspersky Internet Security has an easy setup that does not require a reboot and comes with a free ad blocker for Firefox. PCWorld conducted several tests using “real world threats” that resulted in a 94.4 percent block rate. Kaspersky has a 5.6 percent infection rate, but 98.1 percent of malware tested was still detected. Kaspersky was one of three anti-virus suites that removed malware 80 percent or more of the times it was run.
According to PC Mag, which tracks over 40 different anti-virus vendors, AVG received a score of 9.3 out of 10 for malware blocking, and 6.5 on malware removal. This puts AVG two places behind Norton Antivirus, one of the most popular antivirus programs currently in development. AVG scored high in both protection and repair on AV-Test, with detection of widespread malware at 100%.Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft offers the free anti-virus tool Microsoft Security Essentials to its Windows users. According to ReadWrite, Security Essentials recently failed a crucial malware test from AV-Test that may discourage users from relying on Security Essentials by itself. The test in question looked at “zero day” malware, or viruses that have not previously been spotted on the net. Regardless of the zero day test results, Microsoft Security Essentials still scored high for protection and removal of malware detected recently as well as more widespread threats.
Bitdefender 2013 concluded 2012 with a press release on its site announcing its most recent results from AV-Test. According to AV-Test’s results, Bitdefender scored an almost perfect 17 out of 18 points, which set it ahead of 23 other competitors. It was Bitdefender’s eighth time beating its competitors in AV-Test comparisons, and it was an Editor’s Choice for PC Mag in addition. Bitdefender offers tools such as sandbox browsing (meant to remove possible threats through faulty browser plugins), a virtual keyboard and an option to improve security while conducting financial transactions over public Wi-Fi.
Choosing the Best App
The best antivirus app for your business will be the one that protects the most sensitive data you have. The weakest point on your network is all that a hacker needs to infiltrate and steal data. Tools like Bit Defender will allow you and your employees to browse safely when experimenting with new browser tools, while AVG detects and removes malware at a price point that looks attractive. For most small business owners, a combination of free and paid security may also be ideal.