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A 2019 data security report confirmed what many small businesses have experienced: a data breach can cost an entire business. Small businesses are hit harder than enterprises, but even then, the impact to organizations can last for more than a year. The average cost of lost business is about $1.4 million. However, loss of business comes not only from the impact of stolen sensitive data but also from negative reputation due to diminished customer trust. Unfortunately, the odds of your IT network getting infiltrated are increasing. One positive finding from the report is that increased network security, encryption, and other cybersecurity strategies can mitigate costs.
What is network security software?
Network security is any activity designed to protect the usability, reliability, integrity, and safety of a network and data. It is a broad term that can include several components such as dedicated hardware, software technologies, security policies, and regular practices such data backup and restoration. Network security software is any type of software that enhances the security of a network. Some of these are firewalls and antivirus software against malware, identity authentication and access controls, endpoint and mobile device protection, application and device monitoring, user behavior analysis, and other risk and vulnerability management systems. Several products can be integrated to provide a comprehensive cybersecurity coverage.
Network security tools provide benefits to businesses of all sizes in many important ways. Software solutions are easier to implement, faster to deploy, and more affordable compared to dedicated network security appliances. Furthermore, network security software:
Helps businesses comply with government and industry-specific regulations
Minimizes the level of risks for attacks, infections, and breaches
Allows employees to work securely from any location
Ensures peak computer and network performance with minimum disruption
Is scalable to adapt to changing business requirements
Boosts client, supplier, or customer confidence with highly accessible secure portals and communication gateways.
Best network security software 2021
The best network security software offers protection from multiple threats such as from viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, adware, and ransomware. Network security tools are diverse and are useful against hackers, data interception and theft, denial of service attacks, and zero-day exploits. The top network security software can protect data at rest and in transit using virtual private networks (VPN) and other technologies. Data and network infrastructure remain safe because of their different protection features and strategies. The following is a list of highly rated and recommended network security software in no particular order.
Kaspersky small business solutions include the Small Office Security, Endpoint Security Cloud, and Endpoint Security Cloud Plus. These solutions against network security threats are easy to deploy and manage. Some of the features include protection against spam mail, file, web, and email threats, ransomware, and other exploits. It also include network security tools such as a firewall, network attack blocker, a vulnerability scanner, mobile protection, cloud discovery, and other management features.
NordVPN allows users to connect to any network using a secure encrypted tunnel. It prevents outsiders to see through the tunnel and intercept data. Individuals can connect to public wi-fi networks to access personal and work accounts safely. Some of the advantages of NordVPN are secure encryption, fast connection, privacy, IP masking, and a kill switch that continuously monitors connection and automatically blocks connection when a VPN connection drops. It also has double VPN connection to cover web traffic, integration with TOR routers, and CyberSec for blocking ads and malicious websites.
LogMeIn Central is a remote computer management software for IT teams and managed service providers. It can also manage endpoint devices in kiosks and point of sale (POS) terminals. Features include health monitoring to detect critical issues and important updates, remote deployment of packages and patches, and Bitdefender antivirus management. User management and computer grouping allows for the arrangement of users, configuration of access permissions, and enforcing of two-factor authentication (2FA).
Spiceworks offers IT admins and network engineers several free tools to manage their network. For instance, the Connectivity Dashboard monitors in real time the connectivity between remote sites and IT infrastructure or business-critical websites. Administrators get alerts when end-users or remote sites cannot reach company devices or websites. The software also monitors applications that are slowing or have shut down. The cloud app can identify specific locations or spots that have slowed down or have encountered issues. It comes integrated with a help desk and an asset inventory software.
Malwarebytes provides cybersecurity products for both personal and business use. Network security software products for small businesses include endpoint protection and endpoint detection and response. It can find and block threats before devices are infected and without affecting the performance of the network. Advanced technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence increase the accuracy of protection and detection. A single dashboard with a user-friendly interface also simplifies management and response. Other features include guided investigation and ransomware rollback.
ESET network security tools provide IT security for businesses of all sizes including small businesses and home offices. It has endpoint protection for desktops, mobile devices, and servers. Other features include advanced ransomware protection, powerful encryption for disks and partitions, and identity validation using 2FA. s offer the flexibility to manage endpoints via the cloud or via an on-premise server included with the purchase of a product license.
McAfee network security software helps users block malware and targeted attacks on their networks. It offers comprehensive protection using signature-less technology against new threats. Scalable cloud-based solutions and intelligent workflows allow organizations to respond against threats with speed and accuracy. s include Advanced Threat Defense against advanced malware and zero-day threats, and Network Security Platform with an effective network intrusion prevention system.
Cloudflare One is a network-as-a-service solution that securely connects remote users, offices, and data centers to each other. One-to-one verification is enforced for every request to every resource. Prevent valuable data from leaving the organization with data loss prevention (DLP) solutions. Other features include real-time intelligence against the latest threats, data traffic inspection, standardized security controls from every location including branch offices, and logs for SIEM integration.
Cisco Secure provides various network security software for business of all sizes. Small businesses, who are most vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches, can choose from hardware firewalls and software solutions such as endpoint and VPN security, cloud security, password security, and email security. For example, Secure Endpoint (formerly AMP) allows user to stop threats before compromise with multiple prevention techniques and posture assessments such as behavioral analytics, machine learning, and signature-based techniques. Other features include advanced endpoint and extended detection and response, threat hunting, and endpoint isolation.
Norton 360 offers multiple layers of protection for devices and online privacy. It protects devices against malware to secure private and financial information. Other features include a secure no-log VPN with bank-grade encryption, a password manager to easily create, store, and manage passwords, a smart firewall, dark web monitoring, and identity theft alerts. In addition, the solution automatically backs up important files and documents to a secure cloud for up to 50GB of space.
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Jose Santos is a long-time contributing writer for project-management.com. He is a subject matter expert in the field of project management and has many years of experience writing about project management software and tools. He has written hundreds of articles for the project management industry, including numerous software reviews, book reviews, training site reviews, and more.