Cloud-Based Antivirus: The Future of IT Security (Entrance)
Cloud-based services have become commonplace across several IT industry sectors - and now the antivirus market is being transformed by these trends as well.
As businesses shift from antivirus packages installed individually on each computer to cloud-based, network-wide solutions, knowing which cloud-based antivirus package to choose has become essential.
If you’re not familiar with cloud-based antivirus software, we’ll give you the info you need to make the best possible buying decision. Let’s find out more about cloud-based antivirus by taking a closer look at some of the most popular antivirus offerings available from the market.
What is Cloud-Based Antivirus?
Cloud-based antivirus uses a cloud server and AI functionality to detect unusual software behavior on your computer network.
Unlike traditional antivirus software that was installed on each computer separately using a site license, cloud-based antivirus resides in your server.
By monitoring all software activity on the network, cloud-based antivirus is more likely to detect viruses, trojans, and malware than traditional antivirus software. Instead of simply comparing applications installed on each computer to a virus database, it literally keeps an eye on your network and acts proactively to contain and clean potential infections.
Top Cloud Antivirus Software of 2020
- High level of online protection
- Gaming mode
- Users seeking a single cross-platform antivirus
- UEFI Firmware protection
- Threat detection from sophisticated malware
- Encrypted online browsing and transactions
- Securing compatible devices in any combination
- Recovering damaged files
- Firewall Security and VPN
- Multi-device protection
- Easy-to-access features
- Advanced Malware protection
Best Cloud Antivirus 2020
Before you decide on an antivirus package, you’ll need to know whether its specific features suit your needs. We’ve put together a list of seven industry-leading cloud-based antivirus solutions. Read on for the low-down on each one.
Symantec EndPoint Protection
Symantec is an established provider of antivirus software, and the company’s EndPoint Protection offering builds on decades of expertise to provide comprehensive virus protection.
Panda is another long-time player in the antivirus industry. Their software features fast scanning times, a large detection database, and other features that make it ideal for home users.
ESET has an excellent reputation for the thoroughness of its scans and virus database, as well as the quality of its firewall protection.
Kaspersky is another household name in the antivirus industry, and its Endpoint package builds on decades of expertise.
Avira Antivirus for Endpoint
Avira is a fast, efficient antivirus system that offers good overall protection without demanding too much in terms of processing power and system resources.
Sophos Endpoint protection
Sophos is a reasonably priced, feature-rich antivirus software package that uses AI and machine learning to track and trace viruses, malware and other security breaches.
Affordability, ease of use, light system requirements and comprehensive antivirus and anti-malware features are some excellent reasons to consider Webroot cloud-based antivirus.
How to Choose the Right Cloud Antivirus?
Choosing the right antivirus software for your needs is essential and with the advent of cloud antivirus, there’s never been a better selection of packages available.
The most important question to ask yourself when you choose between the various options is, does this antivirus suit my needs, my budget, and my hardware setup?
Let’s consider those three factors in a little more detail.
What are your antivirus needs?
Everyone needs antivirus software to detect viruses, malware, trojans - not to mention the recent scourge of ransomware. More specifically, your antivirus requirements will differ depending on how many computers make up your network, how much email traffic you generate, and your company’s web browsing and downloading policy.
What kind of budget are you working with? A home office or small business setup can benefit from the protection offered by an affordable cloud antivirus subscription.
Options like Webroot, Panda, and Avira will cost you just a few dollars a month. In exchange for a small investment, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with a fully functional antivirus solution.
On the other hand, larger organizations with multiple computers, servers, and data storage devices will need to invest in a more comprehensive antivirus package. With sensitive data and dozens - or even hundreds - of computers at risk, it’s worth looking at options like Kaspersky, ESET and Sophos.
Finally, it’s important to remember that as the sophistication and features of an antivirus package increase, so do its system requirements. A simple, lightweight package like Avira won’t use up nearly as much CPU power, RAM, and storage space as a comprehensive antivirus package.
By weighing up your security requirements against the hardware and budget you have to work with, you’ll be able to find the cloud antivirus that best suits your business.
Remember, when in doubt, you can always opt for a free trial whenever possible and try out the software before you buy it.
What Do We Think About Cloud Antivirus?
Now that we’ve introduced you to some of the best cloud antivirus software available today, you should have no difficulty choosing the one that best suits your needs - but is cloud antivirus the best choice for your business?
The main advantage of cloud antivirus compared to traditional antivirus software is the benefit of lower system requirements and access to an international network of security data.
Traditional vs. Cloud Antivirus - What’s The Difference?
While traditional antivirus software requires a fair amount of storage and processing power - which usually has to be supplied by your server - cloud antivirus takes those requirements offsite.
Another benefit of cloud antivirus has to do with the way it scans the computers on your network and identifies threats.
Traditional antivirus packages were designed around a checking and comparison model, where the antivirus would scan your computer for files that were listed on its virus database. Unfortunately, the sheer number of viruses and malware out there means that virus databases are outdated almost as soon as they are updated.
Cloud antivirus works by accessing a global network of real-time virus data, based on both a virus database and viruses detected on computers of other antivirus users. This network approach allows cloud antivirus to keep pace with the viruses and malware that are created every day.
Is Cloud-Based Antivirus As Effective As Traditional Antivirus?
Cloud-based antivirus relies heavily on the internet for its functionality - and critics of the technology see this as a potential weakness.
It’s true that cloud-based antivirus relies on an internet connection to access the cloud, and that malware that disables the internet could cause it to malfunction - but that’s true of traditional antivirus software too.
Another potential issue with cloud-based antivirus is offline protection - is your computer safe when it’s not connected to the internet? While the first generation of cloud-based antivirus did have this disadvantage, almost all the latest releases have features that allow for offline protection.
Panda, Symantec, Kaspersky, and virtually every other antivirus package featured in our review includes innovative caching that keeps an offline record of viruses and malware and detects them on your network.
In our view, most of the arguments against cloud-based antivirus are outdated. The software has evolved and improved significantly in recent years, and now offers users the best of both worlds.
If you run a small to medium-sized business, your number one priority is probably uptime and productivity. Cloud-based antivirus will provide you with the protection you need against viruses and malware without draining your hardware resources.
That way, your team can get on with their priority tasks without having to take breaks while antivirus software scans their computers.
With a range of software brands and monthly subscriptions, there’s a cloud-based antivirus out there for every business. Feature-rich, updated in real time, and easy on system resources, this type of security software is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses seeking robust protection.