With AVG, Kaspersky and Symantec (Norton) releasing their 2013 security software it's time to think about next year's security subscription.
We've already seen the 2013 announcements from AVG, Kaspersky and Symantec (Norton), and a consistent theme is performance (the new version of Norton supposedly makes Windows 8 faster and safer than it is using Microsoft's Windows Defender), touch-friendly user interfaces (with Windows 8 in mind), and protection against zero-day threats.
The thing about security software is that you have to upgrade from one year to the next. Since you'll be spending money whatever you do, it's worth taking a little time before your current subscription runs out to check whether a different provider offers a better product, or is cheaper for the same features.
So don't just blindly renew your subscription, take time to look at what's on offer.
Why? Even if you are reasonably technically savvy, that isn't necessarily true of the people that work for you and so it makes sense to run fully-featured security software rather than more basic products that detect malware.
The criminals behind phishing attacks (where people are tricked into visiting fake web sites and thereby revealing their usernames and passwords) are getting craftier, and it's harder to spot their tricks. They also try to attract people to visit websites that use various means to deliver malware to visitors' computers.
One trick we've seen very recently was to send out clones of legitimate emails sent by companies with huge numbers of users. The only difference is that one or more links in the message are altered so while they look the same, they actually point to malicious pages. Even if a security program doesn't warn the user before they click on such a link, it should block it from opening in the browser.
Another issue is that the number of PCs in your office may have changed, and while we would warn against being 'penny wise, pound foolish' it is possible that one vendor will offer better terms than another for the exact number of licences you need.