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Security Software


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My Digital Shield logo
 
With security becoming a pressing concern for companies of all types, it’s especially important for small businesses to know they have a dependable software security solution. Founded by experts with over 17 years of experience in... Read More
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With security becoming a pressing concern for companies of all types, it’s especially important for small businesses to know they have a dependable software security solution. Founded by experts with over 17 years of experience in... Read More
 
ARALOC logo
 
ARALOC is a cloud-based security platform for desktop and mobile devices that offers mobile security and data loss prevention. The software is hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud but can also support the storage of content on private... Read More
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ARALOC is a cloud-based security platform for desktop and mobile devices that offers mobile security and data loss prevention. The software is hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud but can also support the storage of content on private... Read More
 
Endpoint Protector logo
 
Endpoint Protector from CoSoSys is an all-in-one Data Loss Prevention system (DLP) for Windows, macOS, Linux and thin clients that protects against unintentional data leaks as well as data theft. It offers control of portable storage... Read More
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Endpoint Protector from CoSoSys is an all-in-one Data Loss Prevention system (DLP) for Windows, macOS, Linux and thin clients that protects against unintentional data leaks as well as data theft. It offers control of portable storage... Read More
 
Flextivity logo
 
Founded in 1997, Flextivity by Intego provides a cloud-based Security solution designed specifically for companies using Macs. This solution is a good fit for small to midsized business in a wide array of industries such as real estate,... Read More
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Founded in 1997, Flextivity by Intego provides a cloud-based Security solution designed specifically for companies using Macs. This solution is a good fit for small to midsized business in a wide array of industries such as real estate,... Read More
 
Vault America Cloud Backup & Recovery logo
 
Vault America Cloud Backup & Recovery is a web-based data loss prevention solution. Encrypted using Military Grade AES 256-Bit encryption and monitored 24/7/365, companies can back up any file, folder, drive, email, or database regardless... Read More
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Vault America Cloud Backup & Recovery is a web-based data loss prevention solution. Encrypted using Military Grade AES 256-Bit encryption and monitored 24/7/365, companies can back up any file, folder, drive, email, or database regardless... Read More

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Keeper logo
 
Keeper is business security software that offers multi-tenant password management and secure file storage. The software is a “zero-knowledge” security provider, which means that the user is the only one with access to the information... Read More
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Keeper is business security software that offers multi-tenant password management and secure file storage. The software is a “zero-knowledge” security provider, which means that the user is the only one with access to the information... Read More
 
Avast Endpoint Protection Suite logo
 
Avast Endpoint Protection Suite is an antivirus solution for businesses looking to protect both endpoint workstations and file servers. It offers a central management component, which comes in two variants: Small Office Administration,... Read More
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Avast Endpoint Protection Suite is an antivirus solution for businesses looking to protect both endpoint workstations and file servers. It offers a central management component, which comes in two variants: Small Office Administration,... Read More
 
Avast for Business logo
 
Avast for Business is a cloud-based endpoint security solution aimed squarely at the busienss user. It provides critical protection to Window PCs and Mac devices along with Mic servers. With Avast for Business, users get a cloud-based... Read More
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Avast for Business is a cloud-based endpoint security solution aimed squarely at the busienss user. It provides critical protection to Window PCs and Mac devices along with Mic servers. With Avast for Business, users get a cloud-based... Read More
 
avast! Endpoint Protection logo
 
Avast! Endpoint Protection provides basic and reliable security to small and medium-sized businesses that are targeted by cybercriminals. The softwares’ threat detection network ensures a thorough virus signature database that is... Read More
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Avast! Endpoint Protection provides basic and reliable security to small and medium-sized businesses that are targeted by cybercriminals. The softwares’ threat detection network ensures a thorough virus signature database that is... Read More
 
Symantec Endpoint Protection logo
 
Symantec Endpoint Protection defends businesses from both malware and targeted attacks—protecting against new and unknown threats. Symantec Endpoint Protection uses Symantec’s Insight platform to collect and collate data from... Read More
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Symantec Endpoint Protection defends businesses from both malware and targeted attacks—protecting against new and unknown threats. Symantec Endpoint Protection uses Symantec’s Insight platform to collect and collate data from... Read More

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Symantec Endpoint Protection for Small Business logo
 
Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition is a cyber security defense suite designed specifically with the needs of the small business in mind. Core features include antivirus, antispyware and a firewall to protect laptops,... Read More
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Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition is a cyber security defense suite designed specifically with the needs of the small business in mind. Core features include antivirus, antispyware and a firewall to protect laptops,... Read More
 
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware for Business logo
 
MalwareBytes Anti-Malware for Business is a security solution that provides businesses with strong detection and remediation tools to protect against “zero hour” threats that exploit unknown vulnerabilities on business systems.... Read More
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MalwareBytes Anti-Malware for Business is a security solution that provides businesses with strong detection and remediation tools to protect against “zero hour” threats that exploit unknown vulnerabilities on business systems.... Read More
 
Malwarebytes Endpoint Security logo
 
MalwareBytes Endpoint Security combines two products in one suite: MalwareBytes Anti-Malware for Business and Anti-Exploit for Business. The result is a security solution that provides businesses with layered defenses against cyberthreats. MalwareBytes... Read More
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MalwareBytes Endpoint Security combines two products in one suite: MalwareBytes Anti-Malware for Business and Anti-Exploit for Business. The result is a security solution that provides businesses with layered defenses against cyberthreats. MalwareBytes... Read More
 
Power Data Recovery logo
 
MiniTool’s Power Data Recovery is a security software solution specializing in data loss prevention. This product is deployed on-premise and has versions for both Mac and Windows systems. Power Data Recovery can help users undelete... Read More
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MiniTool’s Power Data Recovery is a security software solution specializing in data loss prevention. This product is deployed on-premise and has versions for both Mac and Windows systems. Power Data Recovery can help users undelete... Read More
 
Endpoint Security for Business Core logo
 
Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Core is a security solution focused on providing fundamental protections for any office. This on-premise suite includes anti-malware, a firewall and a central administration control. Kaspersky... Read More
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Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Core is a security solution focused on providing fundamental protections for any office. This on-premise suite includes anti-malware, a firewall and a central administration control. Kaspersky... Read More

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Endpoint Security for Business Select logo
 
For businesses that require protection technologies across every major node on their network, Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Select offers a sophisticated business security solution. This on-premise suite includes protection... Read More
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For businesses that require protection technologies across every major node on their network, Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Select offers a sophisticated business security solution. This on-premise suite includes protection... Read More
 
AVG Internet Security Business Edition logo
 
AVG Internet Security Business Edition is a corporate endpoint security solution aimed towards small and midsize business units. Along with full-time antivirus protection, AVG Internet Security Business Edition also offers its users... Read More
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AVG Internet Security Business Edition is a corporate endpoint security solution aimed towards small and midsize business units. Along with full-time antivirus protection, AVG Internet Security Business Edition also offers its users... Read More
 
Sophos Endpoint Antivirus logo
 
Sophos Endpoint Antivirus software combines defense against malware with a flexible remote management tool. The anti-malware protection is designed to identify, block or remove threats, thus protecting computers and servers from viruses,... Read More
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Sophos Endpoint Antivirus software combines defense against malware with a flexible remote management tool. The anti-malware protection is designed to identify, block or remove threats, thus protecting computers and servers from viruses,... Read More
 
Sophos Enduser Protection logo
 
Sophos Enduser Protection is a bundled security suite that offers comprehensive layers of protection for businesses, all of which are managed from a single console. Key features of Sophos Enduser Protection include anti-malware, email... Read More
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Sophos Enduser Protection is a bundled security suite that offers comprehensive layers of protection for businesses, all of which are managed from a single console. Key features of Sophos Enduser Protection include anti-malware, email... Read More
 
ESET Endpoint Antivirus logo
 
ESET Endpoint Antivirus combines defense against malware with a flexible remote management tool. Antivirus and antispyware protections utilize ESET’s ThreatSense technology to defend against both known and emerging threats. Scanning... Read More
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ESET Endpoint Antivirus combines defense against malware with a flexible remote management tool. Antivirus and antispyware protections utilize ESET’s ThreatSense technology to defend against both known and emerging threats. Scanning... Read More

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ESET Endpoint Security logo
 
ESET Endpoint Security is a business defense suite comprising multiple layers of protection for business systems. Core functionality includes anti-malware designed to detect threats and prevent infiltration of company networks, and... Read More
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ESET Endpoint Security is a business defense suite comprising multiple layers of protection for business systems. Core functionality includes anti-malware designed to detect threats and prevent infiltration of company networks, and... Read More
 
ESET Secure Business logo
 
ESET Secure Business is a multi-layered protection suite that combines defenses for workstations with mobile and server security. The Endpoint Security component includes a broad range of tools to defend against infections and hackers,... Read More
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ESET Secure Business is a multi-layered protection suite that combines defenses for workstations with mobile and server security. The Endpoint Security component includes a broad range of tools to defend against infections and hackers,... Read More
 
McAfee Complete Endpoint Protection logo
 
McAfee Complete Endpoint Protection—Business is a comprehensive, multi-featured endpoint security solution, designed to defend businesses against today’s toughest and stealthiest threats. Targeted at businesses with 1,000 nodes... Read More
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McAfee Complete Endpoint Protection—Business is a comprehensive, multi-featured endpoint security solution, designed to defend businesses against today’s toughest and stealthiest threats. Targeted at businesses with 1,000 nodes... Read More
 
McAfee Endpoint Protection Advanced for SMB logo
 
McAfee Endpoint Protection Advanced is a security suite for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with up to 250 devices. This solution offers businesses core functionality such as a firewall to prevent hackers from accessing company... Read More
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McAfee Endpoint Protection Advanced is a security suite for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with up to 250 devices. This solution offers businesses core functionality such as a firewall to prevent hackers from accessing company... Read More
 
McAfee Endpoint Protection Essential for SMB logo
 
McAfee Endpoint Protection Essential is a multi-featured security suite, designed for the needs of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with up to 250 devices. This system offers businesses a wide array of functionality. A firewall... Read More
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McAfee Endpoint Protection Essential is a multi-featured security suite, designed for the needs of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with up to 250 devices. This system offers businesses a wide array of functionality. A firewall... Read More

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PureVPN logo
 
PureVPN is a virtual private network for businesses. By encrypting both internal and external corporate communications, it helps organizations defend against data theft. PureVPN designates dedicated IP addresses to log in to company... Read More
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PureVPN is a virtual private network for businesses. By encrypting both internal and external corporate communications, it helps organizations defend against data theft. PureVPN designates dedicated IP addresses to log in to company... Read More
 
Avira Endpoint Security logo
 
Designed for small businesses, Avira Endpoint Security offers multiple layers of defense to protect both workstations and file servers from cyber threats. Avira antivirus guards against malware, including viruses, Trojans, worms,... Read More
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Designed for small businesses, Avira Endpoint Security offers multiple layers of defense to protect both workstations and file servers from cyber threats. Avira antivirus guards against malware, including viruses, Trojans, worms,... Read More
 
Avira Small Business Security Suite logo
 
Designed specifically to meet the needs of small and midsized businesses, Avira Small Business Security Suite protects PCs and file servers from a broad range of cyber threats. Key features include file scanning which scans every... Read More
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Designed specifically to meet the needs of small and midsized businesses, Avira Small Business Security Suite protects PCs and file servers from a broad range of cyber threats. Key features include file scanning which scans every... Read More
 
VIPRE Antivirus Business logo
 
VIPRE Antivirus Business is a security solution with a strong emphasis not only on anti-malware protection, but also on mobile device management (MDM), helping protect computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets against cyberthreats. VIPRE... Read More
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VIPRE Antivirus Business is a security solution with a strong emphasis not only on anti-malware protection, but also on mobile device management (MDM), helping protect computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets against cyberthreats. VIPRE... Read More
 
NordVPN logo
 
NordVPN is a cloud-based virtual private network (VPN) that helps users to securely access internet over their Windows, Mac and Linux devices. It also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS devices to secure internet traffic on the... Read More
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NordVPN is a cloud-based virtual private network (VPN) that helps users to securely access internet over their Windows, Mac and Linux devices. It also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS devices to secure internet traffic on the... Read More

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ThisData logo
 
ThisData is a cloud-based security solution suitable for small to midsize businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include real-time detection and notification of security breaches and preemptive measures to prevent account... Read More
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ThisData is a cloud-based security solution suitable for small to midsize businesses in a variety of industries. Key features include real-time detection and notification of security breaches and preemptive measures to prevent account... Read More
 
Trend Micro Enterprise Security Suite logo
 
In today’s rapidly shifting threat environment, businesses need to guard all their systems from malicious attackers. From endpoints to Internet gateways; from mail servers to file servers: Trend Micro’s Enterprise Security Suite... Read More
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In today’s rapidly shifting threat environment, businesses need to guard all their systems from malicious attackers. From endpoints to Internet gateways; from mail servers to file servers: Trend Micro’s Enterprise Security Suite... Read More
 
Trend Micro Worry-Free Standard logo
 
Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security Standard is aimed at meeting the needs of small businesses. Features include antivirus that defends against malware, spyware and other online threats, while the Web security component also... Read More
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Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security Standard is aimed at meeting the needs of small businesses. Features include antivirus that defends against malware, spyware and other online threats, while the Web security component also... Read More
 
AVG CloudCare logo
 
AVG CloudCare is a cloud-based security suite designed for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and the third party managed security service providers (MSSPs), who can use this tool to manage security on behalf of their clients. AVG... Read More
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AVG CloudCare is a cloud-based security suite designed for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and the third party managed security service providers (MSSPs), who can use this tool to manage security on behalf of their clients. AVG... Read More
 
Zoho Vault logo
 
Zoho Vault is a Web-based security software solution. This product is designed to help teams manage their online passwords. In the system, users can store and organize passwords, and Zoho Vault encrypts them using AES-256. Teams can... Read More
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Zoho Vault is a Web-based security software solution. This product is designed to help teams manage their online passwords. In the system, users can store and organize passwords, and Zoho Vault encrypts them using AES-256. Teams can... Read More

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Kaspersky TOTAL Security for Business logo
 
Kaspersky TOTAL Security for Business is Kaspersky Lab’s most comprehensive security solution, offering a multifaceted suite of defenses to help secure every aspect of a corporate network. This on-premise suite includes anti-malware,... Read More
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Kaspersky TOTAL Security for Business is Kaspersky Lab’s most comprehensive security solution, offering a multifaceted suite of defenses to help secure every aspect of a corporate network. This on-premise suite includes anti-malware,... Read More
 
Panda Cloud Office Protection logo
 
Panda Cloud Office Protection is a cloud-based security platform that protects all the endpoints on a network. Businesses that deploy Panda Cloud Office Protection benefit from an array of defenses, including anti-malware, firewalls,... Read More
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Panda Cloud Office Protection is a cloud-based security platform that protects all the endpoints on a network. Businesses that deploy Panda Cloud Office Protection benefit from an array of defenses, including anti-malware, firewalls,... Read More
 
BluKrypt logo
 
BluKrypt by ParaBlu is an on-premise cloud access security broker (CASB) solution that enforces enterprise security policies as employees access cloud-based resources. It allows businesses to manage their security policy enforcement,... Read More
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BluKrypt by ParaBlu is an on-premise cloud access security broker (CASB) solution that enforces enterprise security policies as employees access cloud-based resources. It allows businesses to manage their security policy enforcement,... Read More
 
Check Point Cloud-Managed Security Service logo
 
Check Point Cloud-Managed Security Service is for businesses with up to 50 employees who want to outsource the management of their business’s IT security to professionals employed by a leading security firm. Subscribers to the service... Read More
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Check Point Cloud-Managed Security Service is for businesses with up to 50 employees who want to outsource the management of their business’s IT security to professionals employed by a leading security firm. Subscribers to the service... Read More
 
Cloudbric logo
 
Cloudbric is software-as-a-service (SaaS) Web protection platform that utilizes Web application firewall (WAF) technology to protect businesses. Threats it protects against include cyber attacks, data leakage, website vandalism and... Read More
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Cloudbric is software-as-a-service (SaaS) Web protection platform that utilizes Web application firewall (WAF) technology to protect businesses. Threats it protects against include cyber attacks, data leakage, website vandalism and... Read More

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CrococryptLib logo
 
CrococryptLib is web security encryption integration platform available for on-premise deployment. It is used by small and midsize software development and engineering organizations to increase the security of web applications. CrococryptLib... Read More
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CrococryptLib is web security encryption integration platform available for on-premise deployment. It is used by small and midsize software development and engineering organizations to increase the security of web applications. CrococryptLib... Read More
 
Distil Networks Bot Mitigation logo
 
Distil Networks Bot Mitigation is a tool to help identify bot activity on a website and prevent scraping, fraud and other security issues. The system can be used by companies of all sizes and in any industry. The system tracks the... Read More
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Distil Networks Bot Mitigation is a tool to help identify bot activity on a website and prevent scraping, fraud and other security issues. The system can be used by companies of all sizes and in any industry. The system tracks the... Read More
 
F-Secure Business Suite logo
 
F-Secure Business Suite is a security suite that includes multiple layers of protection. It is suited to companies of all sizes looking to secure multiple devices, including desktops, laptops and servers, without impairing speed or... Read More
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F-Secure Business Suite is a security suite that includes multiple layers of protection. It is suited to companies of all sizes looking to secure multiple devices, including desktops, laptops and servers, without impairing speed or... Read More
 
Heimdal PRO logo
 
Heimdal Pro is designed to run as supplementary protection to antivirus on Windows-based operating systems. It offers advanced malware security that is compatible with most third-party antivirus solutions. At the core of Heimdal Pro... Read More
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Heimdal Pro is designed to run as supplementary protection to antivirus on Windows-based operating systems. It offers advanced malware security that is compatible with most third-party antivirus solutions. At the core of Heimdal Pro... Read More
 
Stellar Phoenix logo
 
Stellar Phoenix is a data recovery solution designed for business of all sizes. It allows users to securely back up company data so that it can be recovered when needed. Stellar Phoenix enables users to recover data from either a... Read More
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Stellar Phoenix is a data recovery solution designed for business of all sizes. It allows users to securely back up company data so that it can be recovered when needed. Stellar Phoenix enables users to recover data from either a... Read More

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Stratokey Cloud Data Protection logo
 
Stratokey is a cloud-based data protection solution for mid-sized and large companies. The system offers applications like data loss prevention, web security, and more. Stratokey can support attachment and file encryption for sensitive... Read More
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Stratokey is a cloud-based data protection solution for mid-sized and large companies. The system offers applications like data loss prevention, web security, and more. Stratokey can support attachment and file encryption for sensitive... Read More
 
VIPRE Business Premium logo
 
VIPRE Business Premium is a security suite for PCs and Macs that combines Web, email and anti-malware protection with mobile device management (MDM). VIPRE Business Premium scans for threats quickly, and its anti-malware protection... Read More
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VIPRE Business Premium is a security suite for PCs and Macs that combines Web, email and anti-malware protection with mobile device management (MDM). VIPRE Business Premium scans for threats quickly, and its anti-malware protection... Read More
 
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WinAntiRansom is an IT security software platform designed to block ransomware and malware and prevent zero-day attacks. It is an on-premise downloadable solution that can be used by either consumers or small businesses. With its... Read More
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Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: October 19, 2017


The IT security market is vast, and business owners have a bewildering array of tools to choose from when deciding how to protect themselves against threats. Indeed there are so many different products and such an overlap of functions it can be difficult to make the right choice.

Before investing in the latest amazing security product then, business owners should think carefully about the nature of their business and what it requires. IT security expert Rick Doten stresses that “security is a risk-based approach.” In other words, security decisions should be decided by first understanding the business and identifying the specific threats to that business before selecting the technology to match.

You might assume, for example, that you need an endpoint protection platform because you want visibility into and control over the security of devices on your network. However, the systems you purchase in this type of suite—be it mobile device management, intrusion protection or something else—will depend on the specific needs of your business.

Kaspersky group task dashboard

Endpoint protection platforms allow a central administrator to schedule regular security actions such as virus search to be performed across all the devices on a network (Source: Kaspersky Labs)

Not everybody does a proper risk analysis, and many make the mistake of putting the technology first. This can be an expensive—and dangerous—mistake for businesses of any size. Josh Ablett, a senior risk executive and former bank vice president, says: “I’ve been involved in plenty of projects at top tier banks where they’ll end up spending tens of millions of dollars on security software that turns out to not be what they thought they needed.”

So first, prioritize the risks to your business, develop the process to protect against those risks and then select the technology you need carefully. To help you with the latter, we put together this guide to the basics of the IT security market. We’ll begin with an overview of essential security applications, discuss how they’re bundled together and then dive deeper into the various applications creat ed for specific scenarios. Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Is Business Security Software?
Integrated Suites
Protection Against Traffic Risks
Access Management
Threat Intelligence
Pricing Considerations
Best Software Evaluation Tactics
Recent Events You Should Know About

What Is Business Security Software?

IT security terminology is confusing and prone to change. Applications can be sold separately but they are commonly bundled together. Some tools are software based, others are hardware based, and many can be provided as a hosted service. There is also a strong overlap in functionality across different types of product.

However there are a few basic applications which everybody needs, no matter the size or type of business. These are the applications you can expect to hear in answer to the question, "What is business security software?" So now, let’s take a look at the fundamentals of IT Security:

Firewalls Firewalls are your basic, first line of defense, and can be either hardware, software or a combination of both. The firewall filters the traffic entering your network and enforces policy on what traffic is allowed in and out. However the conventional firewall is neither perfect, nor very specific. More sophisticated Next Generation Firewalls can analyze which applications your employees are using, and implement much more nuanced and targeted threat prevention based on application-specific data. However, they tend to come loaded with features and not all businesses will need everything a Next Generation Firewall does.
Anti-virus/anti-malware Anti-virus software protects your computer by scanning it for infectious viruses and worms, and quarantining and removing them. However, today’s threats are constantly evolving and are much more sophisticated than they used to be, so although the term anti-virus is still used, it has evolved into the more comprehensive anti-malware, which protects against such dangers as spyware, adware, keylogging, bots and more.
Encryption Encryption is the process by which you make your data incomprehensible to outsiders by, essentially, translating it into a secret code that can only be deciphered with a key. You can encrypt network traffic and the data you store. Encryption is a key part of data security, as even if you suffer a breach, or for instance a laptop or USB is stolen, hackers and thieves will have a much harder time using your data if they cannot read it.
Email safety Spam filtering prevents you from drowning in unsolicited emails. This software or hosted service scrutinizes the emails you receive and analyzes attachments. Spam messages are then deleted, diverted to a special folder or quarantined so you can decide whether to keep or discard them. Secure Email Gateways, which also come as hardware, can scan traffic moving in both directions, and include additional security options such as malware scanning. They prevent attacks at the gateway to your network, rather than waiting for the end user to trigger anti-virus protection.

Integrated Security Suites

It’s possible to buy your security applications as standalone products and configure and maintain them all yourself. It may also be cheaper, but it does require more advanced IT skills, more time spent monitoring and updating your defenses and it may be a lot to ask of an already busy IT department.

Vendors therefore often bundle tools and sell them as “comprehensive” platforms, frequently with a single controlling console, so one administrator can monitor the system. There is also an option for many vendors to select technology as a hosted service, where the vendor (or third party) hosts and manages the product on your behalf. These platforms might combine all or some of the applications listed above (or even add a few more advanced ones). “Bundled” security offerings include:

Endpoint protection. “Endpoint” is tech talk for any device connected to a network, whether it be a laptop, desktop, tablet or mobile phone. Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) are bundled software security suites that are installed on the individual “endpoints” in a network. The precise features differ according to the manufacturer, but usually include anti-virus, anti-malware, a firewall, encryption and intrusion prevention. Some also include mobile device management. EPPs can also include a console for central administration, and are typically priced per license per device.

Unified threat management (UTM). Sometimes referred to as the “Swiss Army Knife of IT security,” a UTM is a piece of hardware or hosted service which contains a Next Generation Firewall and security tools such as anti-virus, anti-spam, a network intrusion prevention system and content filtering, among other possible defenses. UTMs are usually recommended for small/medium businesses, since as organizations grow larger it can be more efficient to split the defensive functions. It’s also important to know that since it is a hardware device that sits on the perimeter of the network, if a threat slips by and attacks an endpoint within the system, the UTM will be unable to prevent it at that point.

Mobile device management. A Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution helps you manage all the mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets) on a network, exclude unauthorized devices and provide necessary security on those devices which you do approve. This can include managing which network resources specific mobile devices are permitted to access, updates, monitoring and even remotely wiping company data from the device. MDM is included in some Endpoint Protection Platforms.

Protection Against Traffic Risks

If we use an airport as a metaphor, then the firewall is where traffic entering and leaving your network shows its passport. The following set of tools represent the point where it takes off its shoes, walks through a scanner and allows its luggage to be searched. After all, in today’s hyper-connected business environment, traffic is constantly traveling in and out of a network and threats can come from outside—in the form of hackers—but also from inside, simply as a result of employee carelessness.

Secure Web Gateway. Traditionally, a firewall blocks traffic at the network level on the basis of where it comes from, where it is going or what type of traffic it is (for instance web or email). A Secure Web Gateway, while also working at the network level, is more sophisticated. It can delve into the content of that traffic, filtering out application-level traffic, web and URL-specific content and more based on predefined policies and rulesets. For instance, a Secure Web Gateway can determine whether to allow an employee to read a Wikipedia entry on gambling, while simultaneously denying the employee access to gambling sites. They scan inbound and/or outbound Web traffic for suspicious activity, require users to authenticate to access the eb, and can provide detailed logging of how long employees spend on specific websites, such as Facebook. A Secure Web Gateway also protects users against potential malware infections, and controls access to unsupported Web-based applications and potentially dangerous sites (or just company policy violations). Sometimes they are included in Next Generation Firewalls or UTMs, but organizations which have a lot of traffic may find a separate Secure Web Gateway more efficient. They can be used by any size of organization and are available as either hardware or software or hosted service.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP). DLP defends against the loss or theft of confidential data by scrutinizing your outbound traffic, and checking to see whether the sender is allowed to transmit specific data outside of the corporate network, or to a specific recipient. DLP cannot prevent an intrusion, but by determining whether to send, encrypt or prevent the transmission of data, it serves as a crucial defense against hackers who may have gained access to your system, or from authorized users inside your network sending out data that should remain inside.

Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)/Intrusion Detection System (IDS). These systems give enhanced network protection above and beyond the filtering a firewall performs, and help identify and possibly block network-level attacks that pass through the firewall. To extend our airport analogy, a person might have a passport from a trusted country, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t wreak havoc after he gains entry. IDS and IPS differ in that while IDS detects something malicious on the network, an IPS can automatically block that threat, based on rules or policy.

Access Management

Another important aspect of IT security is ensuring that individuals in organizations have appropriate credentials to access the data within the network that they need to see. Access management tools help regulate who has access to what within a network.

Identity Access Management (IAM). IAM software helps businesses manage electronic identities inside a network, authenticating, authorizing and auditing those identities and managing the degree of access each user on the network has to resources. This type of software is more applicable to large enterprises. As IT security expert Tim Singleton points out: “If someone walks into a small business and starts typing on a computer, everyone knows if they are an intruder or not. If that happens at an enterprise, everyone assumes they have a right to be there. So small businesses and large businesses do face different security challenges from that point of view.”

Network Access Controls (NAC). If IAM systems administer access at the employee level, then Network Access Control software helps decide which “endpoints” or devices are allowed onto a network before deciding what degree of access to give each user. These are important in large organizations and/or organizations which permit employees to use their own devices at work. They are also appropriate to networks which are open to guests, and in that context make sure that visitors can only access what they are supposed to.

Threat Intelligence

Finally, although it’s essential to have good defenses, businesses also need to monitor what’s happening inside the computers within their networks. No system of protective defenses is 100 percent foolproof, and these tools can help you detect when and where a breach has occurred so you can effectively respond before it causes harm.

SIEM combines two concepts, Security Information Management (SIM) and Security Event Management (SEM), in order to collate logs and other data from multiple computers, servers and network devices, analyzing it all with the goal of identifying and responding to suspicious activity and potential security events. It's the first system many companies turn to after a security event to understand what happened. It is often implemented to comply with government regulations. It is available as a software solution applicable to all sizes of business, or as a piece of hardware.

Vulnerability scanning software searches for weaknesses inside your system. There are two approaches to vulnerability scanning—you can scan from the outside as if simulating a hacker breaking in; or from the inside to check the inventory and health of your internal computers, servers, printers, network devices, endpoints and software. This helps you make sure your system configuration is secure, and that defenses are working.

Kaspersky computer monitoring dashboard

The central console on an endpoint protection platform can give a single administrator visibility into and control over the security of all the individual devices on a network (Source: Kaspersky Lab)

Pricing Considerations

Most of these security tools are priced by software license per device, with maintenance per device (either per user or based on network bandwidth levels). Hardware can be included in the license, although sometimes this can be listed separately. Many tools can be run on virtual environments and so companies are also starting to move towards offering tools as hosted services, which is priced per user, per set of users or based on network bandwidth. Some however require special hardware. For instance, UTMs are typically sold as a piece of hardware.

However, there’s more to consider when it comes to pricing than merely tallying the costs going in. IT management software expert Nicole Pauls says small and midsize businesses should also consider ”whether they can take on not just the initial cost but the ongoing maintenance cost (in people and dollars) of a certain product, and whether products can meet their needs in an extremely functional way.”

She adds: “At the large enterprise, key selection criteria will involve whether products can scale to meet their needs. Key for all audiences are flexible, understood deployment strategies appropriate for their environment and ensuring integration points with existing infrastructure.”

Although the world of IT security is undeniably complex, the fundamental principle regarding how to decide which tools you need is easy to grasp. As we said at the beginning: the more you know about your business and the risks you face before making a purchase, the greater the likelihood that you will find the right security solution to suit your needs. 

Best Software Evaluation Tactics

Selecting the right security tools for your business can be challenging. In such a diverse and fragmented market, there are literally hundreds of options, each offering complex solutions to multifaceted problems. So, how do you know which software selection tactics will help you choose the right system for your needs?

Recently, Software Advice surveyed hundreds of software buyers across a range of industries to determine which of 14 potential software selection techniques led to the highest satisfaction rates. To help buyers understand this data, we created a quadrant that provides a visual breakdown of where each tactic falls on the “impact” and “satisfaction” spectrum:

The X-axis (the horizontal line) represents the percentage of people who applied a given tactic and rated their satisfaction as being “extremely high” (meaning they rated it a “9” or “10” on a 10-point scale). The numbers on the Y-axis (the vertical line) show the impact score. This score is based on how different the outcomes were for people who did apply the tactic, versus those who didn’t. Using this logic, tactics that were the most up and to the right in the quadrant were considered the “most effective” because they scored high for both satisfaction and impact.

Click here to read the full report and learn more about the research methodology.

We would like to thank Tim Singleton, Nicole Pauls, Josh Ablett and Rick Doten for their help with this guide.

Recent Events You Should Know About

Mainstream media coverage increases awareness of the need for IT security. Accusations of hacking and private emails going public during a contentious national election in the United States received widespread media attention in 2016. So did a major DDoS attack that temporarily cut off access to major sites for Internet users on the East Coast of the US, as well as several high-profile data breaches at Yahoo!. As a result, the necessity for good IT security became clearer than ever to many companies. This might lead to more companies seeking software solutions in 2017.

Evernote faces backlash over plan to let staffers read customer notes. Cross-platform note-taking app Evernote faced huge backlash in December when it revealed plans to let its staffers read and review private customer notes as a means of assessing the accuracy of its new machine learning technology. The backlash caused the company to abandon this plan. They admitted that they had made a mistake in judgment and failed to provide the type of transparent decision making that would cultivate customer trust. This highlighted the importance of transparency by vendors when it comes to their customers believing in the company/brand’s security.

Oracle acquires security broker Palerra. In September 2016, Oracle acquired cloud access security broker Palerra, whose LORIC software manages security and compliance for applications, workloads and sensitive data stored across cloud services. According to Peter Barker, Oracle's SVP of identity management and security products, the combination of Oracle Identity Cloud Service and Palerra's solution will "deliver comprehensive protection for users, applications, APIs, data and infrastructure to secure customer adoption of cloud.”

 

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