Best Antivirus Software

Endpoint antivirus software is any program that prevents and/or detects the presence of malicious software within an endpoint device. These tools typically contain detection features for identifying potential malware and computer viruses that attempt to, or actually penetrate, a device. Most tools possess some form of firewall to stop any virus, worm, trojan, or adware that attempts to penetrate the device. Companies use these tools to protect their devices and the sensitive information within them. These tools typically possess some feature to assess a device’s or network’s health and alert administrators of any infection present. This can help ensure each device in a company’s system is secure. These tools should not be confused with firewall tools, which may have the same features, but also prevent hackers and other parties from penetrating networks and devices. Other endpoint security tools include endpoint detection and response (EDR) and endpoint management software. EDR tools possess a wider range of capabilities for identifying malware and device penetration, along with tools to remove malicious elements. Endpoint management tools help users manage which devices are connected to networks and ensure the security features of those devices are up to date.

To qualify for inclusion in the Endpoint Antivirus category, a product must:

  • Possess malware identification and/or removal features
  • Possess anti-virus and/or antispyware features
  • Show health status of individual devices
  • Distribute updates as new virus signatures are detected

Antivirus Software Grid® Overview

The best Antivirus Software products are determined by customer satisfaction (based on user reviews) and market presence (based on products’ scale, focus, and influence) and placed into four categories on the Grid®:
G2 Crowd Grid® for Antivirus
High Performers
Market Presence

What You Should Know About Antivirus Software

Viruses are a specific type of malware that infects a computer, system or network and spreads like a contagion, hence the name. Most modern antivirus solutions protect against many types of malware including viruses, adware, spyware, trojans, and ransomware attacks.

Antivirus tools make up one component of the endpoint protection ecosystem. While antivirus covers malware protection, features for detection, remediation, and device governance may not be included. EDR tools typically provide a wider breadth of features for incident detection, malware isolation, and infection remediation. Endpoint management tools will supply additional features such as asset management, system requirements updates, and network monitoring. Endpoint locations and technology infrastructure are key considerations for security software.

Antivirus solutions are a necessity, especially with the rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. BYOD practices provide a wealth of benefits, but they can make it more difficult to close the security loop. Some antivirus apps will only support Windows or Mac devices; others support everything from tablets to smart devices. It’s important to pair your endpoint management policies with security tools that support the range of devices accessing your network. Since some employees are slow to update applications and operating systems, conflicts may arise and force administrators to regulate system requirements.

Key Benefits of Antivirus Software

  • Block malware from infecting devices
  • Protect against phishing, spam, and hackers
  • Increase endpoint lifetime
  • Reduce risk of data theft, loss, or corruption
  • Regulate antivirus policies companywide

Why Use Antivirus Software?

Antivirus software is an important component of a well-rounded security software stack and can be a valuable addition to existing software programs. These solutions effectively reduce the presence of malware able to gain access to your company’s sensitive information. Many antivirus vendors even offer free antivirus programs for personal use.

Information security — Companies are becoming more vigilant in protecting their sensitive business data. Industries such as financial services and banking are obvious places where it is important to keep data safe. But hackers target all kinds of companies and individuals, as almost all organizations and people have some level of valuable data stored on their networks.

Device protection — Endpoints are disparate and plentiful in the modern world. Companies often allow users to access business data and applications on whatever device they have on hand. It’s important, however, to ensure each of those endpoints is secure. Cross-platform availability is important for companies with BYOD practices. But antivirus tools help keep dangerous programs and hackers out of your business network, regardless of the type of device they’re using.

Browsing safety — Employees often surf the web and end up on potentially dangerous sites. If your company’s network doesn’t block unapproved sites or employees surf on their own network, it’s fairly likely they’ll end up encountering some kind of malware. Antivirus solutions are useful tools for identifying potentially dangerous material and preventing users from obtaining it. This includes clicking dangerous ads, downloading suspicious files, or getting caught in a phishing incident. All of these user behaviors can end up allowing malware entrance into a network and put business data at risk.

Employee unreliability — Like the browser issue, employees aren’t always skilled in best practices for internet security. Many users will download an extension or program simply because a site said they have to; antivirus solutions help make it more difficult, or even impossible, to download a malicious program. These downloads could very easily include malware and wreak havoc on a company’s network. That puts both the individual user’s data at risk. And because of a virus’ ability to replicate and spread, the company’s entire network becomes a target.

Kinds of Antivirus Software

Antivirus — These are the longest-standing software type of the bunch. Viruses are the best-known and debatably the oldest forms of malware. Viruses differentiate themselves through their ability to replicate and spread. They can be attached to files from the internet, suspicious applications, and dangerous websites.

Once a virus is downloaded, it can replicate and distribute its copies across computer networks. These viruses can be used for a number of nefarious purposes, such as remote access and data theft. Antivirus solutions identify known variants of viral malware. Many antivirus solutions also cover a number of the following cyberthreats, but they have historically focused on viruses.

Anti-malware — Anti-malware solutions will cover most kinds of cyber threats that are delivered in the form of files or applications. There are millions of different malware forms that range from adware to ransomware; anti-malware software aims to prevent all kinds from harming your devices.

These dangerous programs can mutate and adapt to slip by traditional firewalls and discover new exploits and zero-day vulnerabilities. As a result, many are synced to threat intelligence networks in addition to malware libraries to identify evolving forms of malware and protect against zero-day attacks.

Anti-spyware — Spyware is a common form of malware used to secretly gather sensitive information from their targets. These can be used to track cookies, monitor systems, or harvest identity data.

The most common way to infect a device with spyware is through a program called adware. These usually create popups or windows within browsers that trigger downloads when the user attempts to close them. Other forms of spyware include systems monitors, cookie trackers, and trojans, which present themselves as harmless components, but secretly possess spyware within their files.

Anti-worm — A computer worm is a malware program that functions similarly to a virus in that it replicates itself and spreads within computer networks. Unlike viruses, worms typically don’t modify or corrupt the target’s files. They’re used for hacking practices such as creating backdoors and botnets, or launching ransomware attacks.

Worms are effective ransomware attack tools since they are designed to replicate and spread quickly across large networks. A worm will lock down a network’s endpoints and require payment in return for access to the end user’s files. If they refuse, the virus may destroy or harvest an entire network’s data.

Anti-phishing — Phishing is a common practice used to take advantage of human error. Attacks may come in the form of emails, ads, or other means of electronic communication. Phishing content mimics legitimate messages or websites and asks a user to submit credentials or banking information.

Many email gateways have filters to prevent phishing content from reaching users. Some antivirus solutions will also identify suspicious websites and alert users if the programs suspects a site may contain phishing content.

Antivirus Software Features

Malware scanning — Malware scanning features allow antivirus tools to scan devices, browsers and networks for the presence of malware. The tools will identify the location of the computer virus and alert either you or your IT administrator of its presence.

Some dangerous software programs may lay dormant for extended periods of time without displaying symptoms. Hackers could leave a backdoor to gain access to your systems; they could also be waiting to execute a dangerous application. Malware scanning will identify these threats and expedite the remediation process.

Continuous scanning — On-demand or periodic scans, while helpful, can miss malware for as long as your settings allow. Continuous scanning keeps your systems safer by constantly analyzing endpoints to identify threats as they arise.

Users may forget to run scans or the periodic scans may be poorly timed, allowing a virus to infect a network. Instead of finding out once you run the scan, a continuous scanning antivirus application will alert users of threats as they emerge.

Firewall — Firewalls provide an added layer of security by monitoring and filtering network traffic. These tools will prevent intrusions by identifying suspicious activity and either block access to the network or alert an administrator of the threat.

There are multiple kinds of firewalls built for specific uses or devices. Some are designed to protect applications, while others only support specific operating systems. However, just because an application says it has firewall features, does not mean it will be effective for your specific use case.

Web protection — Many antivirus solutions have features designed to identify potentially dangerous websites or online downloads. An antivirus program with web protection features may scan downloads before saving them or disable a site possessing adware.

There are a number of different browser-based threats that can automatically trigger downloads of dangerous malware. Some even automatically download files upon entering a website without the user ever clicking a button.

Email protection — Email protection features act like additional spam filters and file scanners. Emails from sites known to possess malware will be automatically moved to a spam folder or other isolated area.

Some tools will move files to an isolated environment and scan them for dangerous components prior to actually downloading them. Other tools may identify phishing attacks before a user can input sensitive information or be led to a dangerous website.

Automatic updates — Because there are millions of different computer viruses that could threaten your endpoints, antivirus programs must be frequently updated. These will inform the program of new threats and look out for them in the future.

Automatic updates increase the antivirus tool’s effectiveness by limiting potential human error. Some users may not understand the effects of not updating their security tools; others may simply forget. Automatic updates take the responsibility out of your employee’s hands and do the job for them.

Cross-platform use — If your company uses a variety of devices or hopes to add antivirus protection to different IT infrastructure components such as servers or computing appliances, a cross-platform tool is entirely necessary.

Some programs may only function as a Mac antivirus or a Windows antivirus program. Some tools might not cover mobile devices or Linux systems. Be sure the antivirus program system requirements are met by your array of devices.

Potential Issues with Antivirus Software

Updating software — Employees are not always the most reliable users when it comes to keeping software applications up-to-date. Many don’t remember and others just don’t care. Failing to update antivirus software will prevent the tool from identifying new threats and informing users of potential vulnerabilities.

Updated software can improve the effectiveness of an antivirus program by adding malware signatures to its database. There are millions of unique malware programs threatening companies today. Without an up-to-date database, antivirus programs may miss new and existing malware and put companies at risk.

Existing malware — Antivirus programs provide a lot of features for analyzing systems, detecting the presence of malware, and preventing new viruses from infecting networks. But companies adopting antivirus software for the first time likely already have some malware on their devices. Antivirus software doesn’t always provide the tools necessary to remove complex forms of malware.

Without the ability to detect and remove malware, companies are susceptible to a wide range of programs hackers use to access networks and steal valuable information. As a result, some antivirus solutions should be paired with an endpoint detection and response (EDR) or incident response solution to investigate and remove existing threats.

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Compare Antivirus Software
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    Antivirus reviews by real, verified users. Find unbiased ratings on user satisfaction, features, and price based on the most reviews available anywhere.

    Norton Internet Security software protects your PC with antivirus and antispam technologies.

    Malwarebytes Endpoint Security brings all of our industry-leading protection and remediation technologies into one powerful solution. This multi-layer defense model breaks the attack chain by combining advanced malware detection and remediation, malicious website blocking, ransomware blocking, and exploit protection in a single platform. Malwarebytes Breach Remediation, our threat detection and remediation solution, scans for and remediates malware, reducing dwell time and the need for endpoint re-imaging. It integrates seamlessly into existing security stacks.

    Avast is the global leader in next-gen cyber security products for consumers and businesses and protects over 400 million people online. Avast offers products under the Avast and AVG brands, that protect people from threats on the internet with one of the most advanced threat detection networks in the world. Avast digital security products are top ranked for mobile, PC and Mac. For businesses, Avast offers comprehensive antivirus security that keeps your devices, data, and employees safe from the latest cyber threats. Work and browse confidently from anywhere knowing your business is completely protected. If you are a MSP or VAR, you can also deliver enhanced managed services to your customers and take your business even further. Just choose from our Avast CloudCare cloud-based protection solution or our full-stack, remote monitoring and management platform.

    In a multi-vector attack, cybercriminals combine a variety of threat technologies, deployed in numerous stages, over multiple points of entry, or vectors, to infect computers and networks. To keep businesses, their users, and their devices safe, Webroot SecureAnywhere® Business Endpoint Protection offers a unique blend of layered multi-vector protection that stops threats across email, web browsing, files, URLs, ads, apps, and more.

    Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business offers a tightly integrated combination of superior security technologies and far-reaching systems management capabilities, which can all be controlled via a single management console.

    Complete security that includes encryption, web filtering and patch assessment

    CylancePROTECT redefines what antivirus can and should do for your organization by leveraging artificial intelligence to detect AND prevent malware from executing on your endpoints in real time.

    SpamTitan blocks spam, viruses, malware and other email threats by over 99.9%. We provide sophisticated email security for your business without making it complicated.

    Get back to what your business really needs you for : Online security threats are serious business. Hackers and malware can sneak in and disrupt your operations, costing you time and money. Worse still, hackers and malware can take down your business completely. Our business antivirus reduces that risk and disruption for you and guards against the latest threats: hassle and worry you just don't need. Features include * File Shredder * Firewall * Smart Scanner * File Server Security * ID Protection * Link Scanner * Ransom Ware Protection * Remote management

    More powerful than ever, our latest edition works even harder and smarter for you and your business. It comes with - * Accelerated scanning engine * Link protection * Enhanced Firewall * Advanced encryption for your critical folders and files * Secure deletion of unwanted files * Protects against Ransom ware * Email Server Security * Email Protection * Remote admin Tools * 24/7 support

    Business-grade protection, privacy, and performance for endpoints. Avira’s protection-cloud AI technology gives you not only a real-time malware scanner and virus detector, but also an early warning system, which analyzes unknown files in the cloud – anonymously – from millions of users, to protect you from threats as they emerge in real time. Real time antivirus protection — Shields your business from viruses, spyware, Trojans, and other malware. Complete web protection — Ensures your employees don’t land on phishing or infected websites. Powerful network protection — Prevents hackers from tapping into your network and stops malware from spreading. Online management console — Offers an online dashboard with centralized security management for all your devices. Anti-phishing and web protection — Scans all incoming/outgoing traffic for phishing attacks, malicious URLs, and infected attachments. Network protection — Scans network traffic on all 65,000 ports on each of your endpoints, keeping your corporate and customer data secure. Flexible management — Schedule reports on quarantined emails, set administrative permission levels and enforce content-filtering policies. File server protection — Secures all confidential data stored on your servers against malware. Resource-light server security — Your servers maintain their peak performance even under heavy-load conditions. Premium support — Includes support from our experienced service team via phone and email. Germany-based Avira knows security: Our Avira Antivirus Pro was named “2016 Product of the Year” by AV-Comparatives. For over 30 years, independent antivirus reviews have typically placed Avira among the top security software available.

    Panda Endpoint Protection provides centralized protection for all of your Windows, Mac and Linux workstations, including laptops, smartphones and the leading virtualization systems.

    Malwarebytes Chameleon technologies get Malwarebytes for Windows installed and running when blocked by malicious programs.

    CloudCare is a free, cloud-based, endpoint security administration platform that makes it significantly faster and easier to monitor threats, resolve issues, and deliver multiple layers of protection to your customers.

    Emsisoft Anti-Malware is a light-weight anti-malware program to clean and protect your PC from all internet threats: viruses, ransomware, spyware, trojans, adware and other malware. It uses a triple-layer prevention engine: Surf Protection, Real-time File Guard and Behavior Blocker. Surf Protection blocks access to fraudulent and dangerous websites, while the Real-time File Guard scans for more than 10 million types of malware in real-time. It recognizes dangers immediately when they try to run or are being downloaded from the Web. New malware signatures updates are available at least 24 times per day. The third layer, the Behavior Blocker with Live Cloud-Verification and Anti-Ransomware, scans and monitors all running programs - all the time. It catches zero-day threats that aren’t yet included in the signature database and as soon as a program does something suspicious, it’s stopped and alerted. It provides the ultimate protection that others can’t catch.

    Cross-platform antimalware protection for all types of servers, including file, SQL and web

    VIPRE is the highest-rated, award-winning endpoint security product for businesses, as well as home users, delivering the best protection at the best price. VIPRE is powered by the most sophisticated advanced machine learning, one of the world’s largest threat intelligence clouds and real-time behavior monitoring to protect millions of users from ransomware, zero-day attacks, phishing, exploit kits, mobile threats and other malware that easily evade traditional signature-based antivirus. The company is also a proud Advanced Technology Partner of Amazon Web Services. Easy to use, VIPRE deploys in minutes to deliver unmatched protection without slowing down PCs. VIPRE is headquartered and supported in the U.S. and all customers receive free, U.S.-based technical support. VIPRE Endpoint Security - Cloud Edition touts the first major innovation in cloud-based antivirus in recent years. VIPRE Cloud allows users to access, drill down and act upon a potential breach before any damage occurs, any time, any place, for true 24/7 protection.

    enSilo offers a complete endpoint security and malware protection solution, designed to stop malware post-infection real-time from causing harm and tampering or exfiltrating data from endpoints.

    Expedited, complete cleanup, plus ongoing protection to stop malware from coming back.

    The AMT (Agentless anti-Malware Technology) is a new proprietary Minded Security technology for detection and management of malware software.

    AppGuard’s patented technology prevents viruses, fileless malware, botnets, polymorphic malware, weaponized documents, targeted attacks, in-memory attacks, ransomware, phishing, watering-holes, drive-by-downloads, and other undetectable advanced threats.

    AVL SDK for Mobile provides antivirus solutions for a variety of mobile security products or services. By integrating AVL SDK for Mobile, you can immediately get the world’s leading antivirus detection and processing ability. No matter you are vendors providing BYOD or MDM services, or vendors customize their mobile systems, or security software developers, or network equipment vendors or cloud service providers, you can all obtain the most effective mobile malware detection and identification capabilities.

    AVL SDK for Network is a kind of antivirus engine that can be used in network devices, including NGFW, UTM, router and so on, to detect malware and spyware on Windows platform. It can effectively discover the potential high-level threats through deep analysis of network traffic with several methods.

    Barkly replaces legacy antivirus with the strongest protection, the smartest technology and simplest management. Barkly blocks attacks across all vectors and intents, including exploits, scripts, executables, and ransomware. Barkly's patented 3-level architecture enables unmatched visibility into all levels of the system, including the CPU, to block attacks. Barkly is incredibly simple to manage and deploy: no policies, configuration or security expertise required.

    BluVector Cortex is an AI-driven sense and response network security platform. Designed for mid-sized to very large organizations, the platform makes it possible to accurately and efficiently detect, analyze and contain sophisticated threats including fileless malware, zero-day malware, and ransomware in real time

    Cofense PhishMe uses industry-proven behavioral conditioning methods to better prepare employees to recognize and resist malicious phishing attempts–transforming one of your biggest liabilities into your strongest defense.

    Proactive malware detection and protection to suit any client or security scenario.

    Safeguard your email with simple set-and-forget protection against malware and spam. Safeguard your email with simple set-and-forget protection against malware and spam. Safeguard your email with simple set-and-forget protection against malware and spam.

    An ESET Virtualization Security for VMware NSX and vShield appliance streamlines the agentless protection of all virtual machines and provides high performance security that won't slow down your VMs.

    Formata offers secure form endpoints for sites and apps.

    IBM Trusteer Rapport is an advanced endpoint protection solution designed to protect users from financial malware and phishing attacks. Using industry-leading technology, Trusteer Rapport is designed to defend against MitB attacks, remove malware from endpoint devices and protect customers by preventing them from entering phishing sites. Trusteer Rapport offers a broad security solution that can help your organization reduce costs, enhance your fraud detection and prevention, and help to provide a seamless customer experience.

    InfiSecure is a web security platform to detect and block online threats.

    PT MultiScanner is a multithreaded malware detection system designed to find threats with precision and speed by combining multiple anti-virus engines and supplementing them with other detection methods, including retrospective analysis of malicious files and reputation services.

    Micro Focus Secure Messaging Gateway (formerly GWAVA) provides inbound and outbound protection for your company enterprise network and messaging system.

    Premium spam and virus protection for your domain. Without user or traffic limit. Easy setup, learning spam filter, the power of the cloud.

    Trusted Knight is a provider of security software solutions focused on defeating newly developed malware and crimeware trojans.

    Vade Secure is the global leader on anti-phishing, spear phishing, malware and ransomware filtering.

    We prevent computers from becoming infected with viruses, worms, bots and other malware. Prevention is the #1 malware mitigation strategy within a complete defense in depth security plan. The U.S. CERT, and similar organizations in Australia and Canada, recommends application control technologies as the #1 solution to malware attacks. White Cloud Security blocks all executable and scripted malware by only running software you intend to run! TRUST LOCKDOWN is essentially an “App Firewall” running in DEFAULT DENY mode. We block 100% of malware that tries to run as an executable or script. Our security driver intercepts the loading of all executables and scripts, takes their fingerprints and determines if they are on your TRUSTED Apps list. • Only Trusted Apps are allowed to run • Untrusted Apps are ALWAYS blocked If an App isn’t trusted, it won’t run. Period.

    Zenedge Malware Protection is an inline security control that detects malware at the edge - before it reaches your web applications.

    Kate from G2 Crowd

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