We select the top Windows antivirus software for business based on comprehensive testing of 13 tools.
Security is not something that should be taken lightly. Every business needs to be operating a robust cybersecurity strategy, and the first step in that is ensuring that you have strong, capable antivirus software deployed.
For very small businesses, we have previously looked at the best free antivirus and commercial internet security suites. But for growing or larger businesses, you need business-grade protection with additional tools to help protect multiple computers, enforce security policies and more.
On the next page, we’ve looked in more depth at five of the better business antivirus tools, based on the features they offer, their impact on your system – and, crucially, how effective each one is at detecting both known and zero-day malware, according to independent tests by AV-Test.org.
But first, here are the key results of all 13 business antivirus tools tested on Windows 10 by AV-Test.org in June 2017. The tests evaluated protection against known and zero-day malware; performance, based on how much the antivirus software slowed down various tasks such as launching applications; and usability, based on false detections of legitimate system activities such as running software.
AV-Test.org results: 13 business antivirus tools for Windows compared
|Protection against 0-day malware attacks, including web and e-mail threats (real-world)||Detection of widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks (reference set)||Performance score (out of 6)||Usability score (out of 6)|
|AVG Antivirus Business||99.0%||98.9%||5.5||5.0|
|Bitdefender Endpoint Security||100%||100%||6.0||5.5|
|F-Secure Client Security||100%||100%||4.0||4.5|
|G Data Antivirus Business||99.0%||100%||4.5||5.5|
|Kaspersky Endpoint Security||100%||100%||6.0||6.0|
|Kaspersky Small Office Security||100%||100%||6.0||6.0|
|McAfee Endpoint Security||99.0%||100%||5.5||6.0|
|Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection||97.9%||99.7%||5.0||4.5|
|Seqrite Endpoint Security||100%||99.8%||6.0||6.0|
|Sophos Endpoint Security and Control||100%||99.7%||6.0||6.0|
|Symantec Endpoint Protection||100%||100%||6.0||6.0|
|Symantec Endpoint Protection Cloud||100%||100%||6.0||6.0|
|Trend Micro Office Scan||100%||100%||6.0||6.0|
Next: Top five Windows antivirus tools for businesses
Let’s look in more depth at five of the better business antivirus tools. Note that we’ve provided pricing where it’s published, but for the others, you may have to negotiate a licensing price before purchase.
Kaspersky Endpoint Security
Kaspersky is one of the heavy hitters in business security and has also been in the news recently, so you should recognise the name. The Russian company definitely lives up to its reputation – it fought off every single virus, zero-day and malware attack launched at it. It also scored top marks for performance and reliability, with only one false positive result.
Kaspersky Endpoint Security is the company’s enterprise product, and offers a wide range of additional management and control options. This allows you to get into real granularity with their security policies as well as data encryption to ensure your treasured data remains confidential.
Endpoint Security is available in a Cloud version, where administration is done via a cloud account, or a ‘Select’ version, where it’s done via an on-site server console.
Prices start at $879.50 (for 10 computers) for Endpoint Security Cloud or $979.50 (10 computers) for Select.
Kaspersky Small Office Security
Following in the footsteps of its companion, Kaspersky's Small Office Security product achieved a perfect 100% score for malware protection. We should mention that its scores were pretty much identical to its enterprise-grade sibling across the board, which no doubt smaller businesses will be pleased to hear.
Small Office Security lacks the full suite of management tools offered by Kaspersky Endpoint Security, but it's designed to be quick and easy to configure – so it should be a snap to set up even for small business that might not have a dedicated IT department. Combine that with rich features like anti-phishing and backup services, and you've got a robust, well-rounded offering.
Prices start at $334.75 for businesses with five desktops, although the software will cover up to 25 clients.
McAfee Endpoint Security
Coming from one of the most well-known security vendors in the industry, McAfee’s endpoint security offering features several advanced protection tools, including machine learning-based behaviour analysis to help detect zero-day attacks as quickly as possible and in-depth threat forensics to help pinpoint the source of a breach.
In testing, it achieved an almost perfect score for threat detection, with no false positives from using legitimate apps and websites. Performance wasn’t the best in class, with some noticeable slowdown when installing frequently-used applications, but it was fine in day-to-day use.
Symantec Endpoint Protection
During testing, Symantec's enterprise-level Endpoint Protection product racked up a flawless score for protection, tackling every attack it came up against. Performance was generally good too, although it wasn't quite impressive enough to beat some of its leanest rivals.
Thanks to Symantec's work on integrating Endpoint Protection with its other products like Blue Coat ProxySG, it remains versatile and scalable for growing or mid-sized businesses.
Endpoint Security is available in a Cloud version, where administration is done via a cloud account, or the standard version, where it’s done via an on-site server console.
Prices for the standard version start at $70.43 for one computer, or $352.15 for five computers. The Cloud versions cost from $5.34 per user per month.
Trend Micro OfficeScan
Trend Micro's Office Scan also achieved 100% protection scores, great performance results and zero false-positive results. It’s one of the most powerful solutions around.
It has solid management options, impressive functionality, and the company has excellent service and support. If your organisation is looking for business-grade protection, Trend Micro offers a serious contender.
This comparison is based on an article originally appeared at IT Pro.