Businesses are a big target for internet threats, especially ransomware. Don't make the mistake of using a program designed for home use — you won't get the same level of security and it will create a lot of lag on your network as multiple devices and people attempt to use it. Instead, I recommend using Bitdefender Small office Security (opens in new tab), the business antivirus solution by the best antivirus developer. This program stops threats before they have a chance to download and attack your network, and includes tools to protect you from identity theft and data breaches. Here are a few more business antivirus software specifically designed for companies with less than 50 employees.
Best Overall: Bitdefender Small Office Security
Bitdefender Small Office Security
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Bitdefender is at the top of the antivirus industry because of how well it stops malware before it even has the time to begin downloading. Since it recognizes more threats than any antivirus software, Bitdefender instantly scrubs threats away so there isn't any need for them to be placed in quarantine. Bitdefender Small Office Security builds on Bitdefender's Total Security and includes most of the same security tools, such as password management, high level of ransomware protection, and online safe banking tools. It also has a VPN with 200MB of daily traffic per user, which isn't a lot but is still a good way to hide IP addresses and online movements. This small business antivirus program also has additional security features specifically designed for small businesses.
Small Office Security includes protections to ward off data breaches securing both client and employee information. It also tightens down your company's data so it's tougher to be held hostage by malware. Bitdefender is easy to use, even for those companies that don't have a dedicated IT manager, and it works on all platforms and operating systems.
Because this is a basic antivirus program, there are a few functions Bitdefender Small Office Security can't do. It won't monitor email messages for malware and it doesn't have patch management, which is helpful in keeping up on changes made to Windows and other operating systems. Bitdefender also doesn't work on servers. Bitdefender does have another, cloud-based program, GravityZone (opens in new tab), that has these and several other security tools, but they'll cost extra.
VPN and ID Theft Protection: Avast Antivirus Pro Plus
Avast Antivirus Pro Plus
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Avast has stellar antivirus software for home computers, and its business solution is just as good. Antivirus Pro Plus gives you the tools you need to ward off ransomware attacks and protect your sensitive information from data breaches and identity theft. The VPN included with this business antivirus software blocks your device's IP address and location and prevents adware and other internet snoops from tracking your online movements. There is also a browser cleanup to remove cache, browser histories, and junk files, all tools to help keep identities secure.
Other protections include a webcam shield that alerts you before your webcam is turned on by any program, browser, or individual. There is also a password management system to keep account login information shielded as your access online pages. If you're sent a file or find a program on your computer that you're not sure is safe, you can open them in the Avast Sandbox. This lets you see what it is and if there is anything dangerous attached to it in a safe environment.
Avast Antivirus Pro Plus is a software program you download and install locally on your computers, but you can access some settings remotely through your online portal. However, the bulk of the program will take up some of your computers' resources and may cause a little slowdown as a result. This is different than antivirus programs that are cloud-based and tend to include additional tools for IT administrators to help with other issues beyond cybersecurity.
Patch Management: F-Secure Protection Service for Business
F-Secure Protection Service for Business
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
The best part of F-Secure Protection Service for Business is its patch management. This tool keeps track of any patches released by Microsoft for your Windows operating system and automatically installs them. This is important since Windows tends to be a big target for malware, especially ransomware.
This business antivirus program works to protect your employees' devices, but also has extra tools for securing servers, which are vital to the workings of any business. You can monitor everything from your online portal and remotely tap into devices to adjust settings, check quarantine folders, deploy software updates, or conduct virus scans.
Though this is a comprehensive business antivirus solution, F-Secure isn't difficult to set up on any device, snd you don't need an IT expert on your team to use it. F-Secure Protection Service is easy to figure out and use by almost anyone. Plus, since it's cloud-based, most of the program is ready as soon as you pay for your subscription. This also allows you to use more local resources for more important business functions while still tapping into some of the best malware detection and blocking for your business.
The biggest disappointment with this program is that you can't simply purchase it outright from the F-Secure website. Instead, you need to reach out to a sales partner in your area to discuss exactly what your company needs for cybersecurity. Based on these discussions you will be given a quote for the program and services. There isn't any way to really know a starting price point or a way to compare your quote with other companies.
Best for IT Use: Trend Micro Apex One
Trend Micro Apex One
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
Apex One from Trend Micro goes beyond stopping malware from infecting your network. It also deploys protection against identity theft, ransomware attacks, and data breaches. Trend Micro hosts this business security solution on its secure cloud storage, so you don't have to worry about taking up precious space locally on your devices. This also helps IT administrators remotely check in to each secured device, including conducting deep virus scans and to make sure there aren't any weak points internet threats might exploit. The online portal can also be used to help with any technical issues your employees may be experiencing.
As part of this endpoint security system, Apex One is proactive in learning your company's needs and movements on your devices and uses this to figure out where you are most at risk of a malware attack. Using this information, Trend Micro looks for these vulnerabilities and helps you strengthen them. And if there is an attack of any kind, including phishing schemes sent using any of your worker's information, Trend Micro will follow the trail to figure out where the threat originated and any compromising behaviors of your employees. This helps avoid similar attacks in the future.
Apex One doesn't list its pricing online. Instead, you are asked to contact a Trend Micro representative directly to discuss precisely what your company's needs are and which business solutions you might take advantage of in addition to Apex One. This is the only real drawback since there isn't a way to tell if their sales pitch is genuinely geared towards a true need or a desired outcome for more profit.
Some final thoughts
Bitdefender is the best for protecting home computers, so it isn't a surprise that it also has the best solution for securing small businesses. Small Office Security (opens in new tab) protects all your devices, except servers, against the most threats out there including ransomware. It also stops data breaches by adding extra layers of protection to both your clients' and your employees' information. You also get access to Bitdefender's VPN that keeps internet snoops from discovering your online movements or the IP addresses of your devices. Bitdefender is really easy to install and use with a good portion of its settings and tools available through your cloud-based portal.
While Bitdefender Small Office Security doesn't offer file encryption, email security or patch management, it does shield your personal and financial information as your shop and bank online, and has a password manager to protect you as your log into online accounts. You can add on additional tools by purchasing Bitdefender GravityZone (opens in new tab), but it does cost a lot more than Small Office Security.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Nicole Johnston writes for multiple Future Publishing brands, including Android Central, covering primarily internet security and privacy programs. She has over 13 years of research and writing experience in both the public and private sectors, including seven years of testing and reviewing consumer products and five evaluating antivirus software, parental controls, and identity theft services.