After more than a year of high-profile cyber attacks and now the threat of cyber war, businesses and even consumers are taking cybersecurity seriously.
Regardless of size or sector, every company is a potential target, and cybercrime will only grow as data becomes more valuable. In light of these risks, organizations need to reevaluate their internet security software.
As many as 85% of IT pros expect to raise their cybersecurity budgets in 2022, providing plenty of room for new security software. To help make the most informed decision, here are our picks for the 12 best internet security solutions available today, by category, with a couple of bonus picks thrown in at the end.
The most recognizable type of internet security software is also one of the most critical. These three anti-malware solutions are some of the best for detecting and removing cyber threats.
Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security
Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security boasts high scores in a range of independent security tests, an impressive testament to its reliability. The solution includes many helpful security tools like full-disk encryption, automatic backups and machine learning-based threat prevention. These advanced features carry down to even its consumer software, making Bitdefender a good choice for consumers too.
GravityZone also boasts several accessibility features, including remote installation and a consolidated, easy-to-navigate window. However, limited third-party integrations and a sometimes slow dashboard stand in the way of being the most user-friendly option.
Pricing varies depending on contract length and the number of devices you want to protect, with rates dropping for longer contracts and more endpoints. Overall, GravityZone offers some of the most protection of any anti-malware solution without being excessively pricey or difficult to use.
Avast Ultimate Business Security
Avast Ultimate Business Security is a solid alternative. Like GravityZone, Avast uses machine learning threat protection to stay on top of the latest trends and user-specific security considerations. The software has also won multiple awards for easy setup and use, making it a user-friendly option.
Avast does offer two more affordable tiers, but they don’t come with patch management, which helps manage updates in third-party software. Businesses shouldn’t ignore that service, considering how crucial it is to keep all applications up to date. Other helpful features include webcam protection and strong support.
Unfortunately, Avast Ultimate Business Security is only available on Windows devices. As a result, it may not be sufficient for every company.
Trend Micro Apex One
Trend Micro’s Apex One is one of the most far-reaching anti-malware options. The software works on both Windows and Mac operating systems and is available as an on-premises and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. A free trial helps make it even more accessible.
Apex One’s accessibility doesn’t hinder its security, either. The solution uses safe listing techniques to reduce false positives, behavior analytics to highlight suspicious activity and offers extensive, GDPR-compliant encryption services.
Some users say Apex One lacks the ease of use and speed of some alternatives, which can be problematic for some companies. However, if that’s not a major issue, this is one of the best solutions for protecting a broad range of devices.
Another important type of security software to consider is a password manager. Studies show that 53% of people reuse passwords across multiple accounts, and 44% use the same passwords for work and personal logins. It only takes one breach to jeopardize an entire network, so businesses should consider one of these three options.
Keeper boasts millions of business users across thousands of small and medium businesses, and it’s easy to see why. The software provides a private vault for each user to store their passwords, one-click login across the web, and seamless use across virtually all platforms.
One of the best features Keeper offers businesses is the ability to customize access controls. Managers can use the platform to enable role-based access, securing business accounts beyond simple password strength. Built-in reporting and auditing tools also help IT managers monitor policy compliance and enforce standards.
Keeper also offers dark web monitoring for breached passwords. Prices start around $4 per user, making it an affordable solution too.
1Password is an even more popular solution, with more than 100,000 businesses using the software. The service is one of the most user-friendly on the market, offering one-click login, custom group and role assignments, customizable access policies and integrations with many third-party apps.
Each 1Password business user also gets a family account for free. That way, employees can stay safe at home, helping companies foster a natural culture of security. Managers can also create custom reporting tools to align the software with their specific business and security goals.
1Password is more expensive than Keeper, costing $7.99 per user per month. However, its extensive features and ease of use may justify the price for many businesses.
Dashlane is one of the most recognizable names among consumer password managers, but it serves companies, too. In fact, it offers two solutions for business users: Team and Business. Team provides the standard consumer package, with administrative tools like password monitoring and policy management, while Business offers more advanced controls.
In both plans, Dashlane protects passwords with 256-bit encryption and enables one-click accessibility for logins, two-factor authentication and offboarding. The service also compiles usage metrics and administrative controls into a single window.
Dashlane Team costs $5 per user per month, while the more in-depth Dashlane Business costs $8 per user per month. The best one depends on your budget and the amount of control you need.
Virtual private networks (VPNs) have become an increasingly popular security tool for businesses. About 25% of all professional jobs will go remote by the end of the year, and organizations need ways to secure their employees when they’re on different networks. These three VPNs can help.
Perimeter81 markets itself as a VPN alternative, but it performs essentially the same function. Unlike traditional VPNs, the cloud-based solution includes zero-trust features, top-down network visibility, and edge computing capabilities to reduce latency. As a result, it’s one of the fastest and most secure options available.
Perimeter81 allows users to choose between multiple VPN protocols, even deploying many at once. As a result, it fills security gaps that traditional, more limited VPNs may not. It also features proactive security features that automatically block public Wi-Fi threats.
Plans are available for as low as $8 a month per user, but you’ll have to pay more if you want zero-trust functions for more than two applications. Overall, though, Perimeter81 is fairly affordable for what it offers.
NordLayer is the business version of the popular NordVPN for consumers. The VPN offers 256-bit encryption and servers in 33 countries, giving teams security and flexibility. The service is also one of the most affordable, starting at just $7 a month.
NordLayer lacks the zero-trust capabilities of Perimeter81, but its features are far from sparse. The service includes double data encryption, customizable permissions, dedicated servers, and single sign-on across third-party apps like GSuite, Azure AD and Okta.
A centralized control panel makes it easy for IT heads to manage their teams and monitor usage. The service also supports all major platforms, including Linux, so teams can use it seamlessly across devices and operating systems.
ExpressVPN also made its name in the consumer VPN space. The service lacks a dedicated business plan, but it can still be useful for companies. It boasts 160 locations across 94 countries, up to five simultaneous devices per user and some of the fastest speeds on the market.
ExpressVPN also works across virtually every platform, even Kindle Fire, Chromebook and Nook, in addition to more traditional operating systems like Windows and Linux. It’s also available as a browser extension, making it accessible on any internet-connected device businesses might use.
The service’s lack of a business option does come with some downsides. Managers won’t have the visibility and control that other solutions offer, and buying multiple individual accounts will be expensive. However, it remains a fast and accessible option for smaller, remote teams.
Paying for anti-malware, password management and VPN software separately can quickly get expensive. While data breaches are expensive, costing $4.24 million on average in the latest IBM-Ponemon survey, IT teams likely need ways to reduce security spending. Comprehensive suites are the ideal solution, and here are three of the best.
Norton 360 Premium
Norton 360 comes in three tiers, with Premium providing the most functionality and accessibility. The service covers up to 10 devices, working across PC, Mac, Android and Apple mobile endpoints.
360 Premium includes:
- Multilayered malware protection
- A VPN
- Dark web monitoring
- Password management
- 100 GB of cloud backups
Dedicated webcam protection also alerts users when a hacker or program tries to access their webcam, a growing concern as IoT cybercrime increases.
At $124 a year, 360 Premium isn’t the cheapest solution on the market, but it’s considerably more affordable than using multiple independent programs.
McAfee Total Protection Premium
Like Norton 360 Premium, McAfee Total Protection premium supports up to 10 devices. It also comes with a virus protection pledge, stating that the company will give you your money back if it fails to remove viruses from your devices.
McAfee Total Protection Premium covers all the services most teams need, including:
- Unlimited VPN bandwidth
- Password management
- Identity monitoring
- Sensitive file deletion
- Protection scores to inform security improvements
An annual cost of just $44.99 for new customers makes it far more affordable than some other solutions. However, some users remark that the VPN doesn’t work evenly across all devices and that performance suffers during malware scans.
Kaspersky Total Security
Kaspersky has been under scrutiny because of its Russian roots, but the company remains a leader in the cybersecurity space and also sells a comprehensive security suite. Kaspersky Total Security covers up to 10 devices like the other two and works across Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
Kaspersky’s Total Security Premium package includes:
- Real-time antivirus protection
- Anti-phishing measures
- 300 MB of VPN traffic per day
- Password management
- Webcam and mic protection
- Private browsing
Kaspersky Total Security offers the most features of any suite, but they don’t always perform to the same level as others. Its $74.99-a-year price tag lands it in the middle for costs.
Wi-Fi 6 Routers
Lastly, a quick word on Wi-Fi 6 routers. While some may be a little pricey for home users, Wi-Fi 6 routers from top network security companies like Palo Alto Networks (Okyo) and Fortinet (Fortinet-Linksys HomeWRK) could make very attractively priced secure networking solutions for small businesses.
Stay Safe on the Internet
Regardless of your team’s roles and cybersecurity needs, software is available to help. Knowing what’s available can lead to the most informed decisions, balancing security with affordability and accessibility. IT leaders who understand what they need and what they can get will find the best possible solutions for their organization.