Small Business Security Group Test: Symantec, McAfee, Kaspersky, Trend Micro and more
When you're a small business without an IT department you need easy-to-install, easy-to-manage security. We've reviewed eight small business security packages.
When it comes to security, small businesses have unique needs. Consumer suites can be overly expensive, require too much micromanagement and cannot be centrally managed.
Every time there’s an alert, a popup or an outbreak or the need to change some policy settings, whoever is in charge of managing the company’s computer has to pay a visit to the desktops, changing each of the settings one by one.
Enterprise solutions, meanwhile, are often excessively complicated, requiring servers and technical expertise that a small business may not have on hand.
What small businesses need is a middle ground – a solution that can be managed without having to visit every computer individually, but that a person without a computer science degree can control with some degree of fluency. For this reason, many security vendors have released products specifically targeted at small business
Business vs. consumer security
|Click to enlarge - small business security software feature table|
So what’s the difference between a business solution and a consumer solution? The simple answer is that business solutions are “managed”.
Typically they have two components: desktop agent and management. A desktop agent does most of the things that a consumer suite does – scan the PC for viruses, check for malicious Web sites, possibly check for spam messages.
The second component is management component – a tool that allows an administrator to control desktop agents remotely. The management tool allows an administrator to quickly check the status of multiple PCs, change security settings, open firewall ports, update virus definitions, group users and check for security breaches, without having to physically visit the PC and disrupt somebody’s work day.
Ideally, the desktop user barely even notices that a security agent is running on their PC. All alerts and problems instead get routed to the administrator to deal with.
Business tools also often have server-side components, such as Exchange plug-ins for server-side email scanning and spam filtering.Click the products on the right to read each review...
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This Group Test appeared in the April, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine