It’s an amazing world that we find ourselves living in. Apart from anything else, there’s so much ‘free’ stuff that one can download and use for business purposes. For example, there are multiple ‘free’ antivirus applications available. Why would anyone spend actual, hard-earned money to purchase a solution that can be downloaded and used indefinitely for free?
The best anti-virus software, however, unfortunately cannot be free, for reasons that will be discussed later in this article. So, if the best antivirus software cannot be free, what is the best antivirus software on the market?
The best antivirus software solutions are cloud-hosted office protection solutions.
Consider the following pertinent reasons why it’s usually better, safer, more efficient, and cheaper in the long run to purchase an office protection solution – and why cloud-hosted solutions are the best antivirus solutions. So what exactly makes cloud-hosted solutions the best antivirus software?
1. There’s an old South African proverb that says ‘goedkoop is duurkoop.’ Roughly translated, it means that opting for a cheap, poor quality option will end up costing you more in the long run. In the case of free antivirus software, it’s likely that you’ll find it impossible to get any support from a vendor of free solutions. In addition, you cannot rely on the effectiveness of free solutions, because no one can be held accountable for the effectiveness of the solution.
2. Traditional (including free) solutions rely on computer users to ensure that they always download the most up-to-date virus pattern file. Cloud-based antivirus applications are automatically configured to always use a comprehensive cloud-based virus pattern file, so the file is always up-to-date.
3. Cloud-hosted virus pattern files are comprehensive and encompass every known virus. Free antivirus solutions do usually allow one to download updated pattern files. The problem is that the database of known viruses is far too large to efficiently be stored on a local computing device, thus older, less active viruses must be ‘dropped off’ pattern file downloads. Remember, just because viruses are old and less active doesn’t mean that they don’t exist and that they can’t cause extreme inconvenience – or worse.
4. The best antivirus software allows the local device agent to be remotely deployed and remotely managed.
5. Cloud-hosted solutions offer agents four multiple common business devices – Windows PCs and laptops, Mac devices, Android and IOS mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). In the modern business environment, it’s imperative to be able to remotely protect and manage all devices that contain sensitive corporate information. For instance, you do really want to be able to immediately ‘wipe’ all information from the sales director’s tablet that he left at the airport.
6. I prefer to refer to the genre of antivirus solutions as ‘cloud office protection’ rather than merely antivirus. Threats to corporate life extend further than mere virus and spam protection. Today, one needs to consider business solutions that effectively police access to productivity killers such as social media (Facebook, LinkedIn etc.), music and video ‘torrent’ download facilities as well as potential corporate brand killers such as porn and other inappropriate content that can easily – even if unintentionally – be exposed to customers.
7. Finally, there is a requirement to control corporate devices and thus block unauthorized personnel from copying corporate data to removable media devices with the intention of perpetrating industrial sabotage. For example, exposing your data to competitors.
The best antivirus – cloud office protection – solutions are most certainly cloud-based solutions. Cloud solutions cater for and effectively protect you and your organization against all of the abovementioned threats. I think that it’s safe to say that ‘free’ antivirus solution will most certainly not reach this level of protection.