The Best Internet Security and Antivirus Software of 2020

By Andrew Martins,
business.com staff
| Updated
May 15, 2020

Our experts have reviewed the best small business antivirus software for 2020. See up-to-date comparisons for the top-rated programs.
Best Antivirus for Small Businesses
Multilayered security
"Set-and-forget" interface
Android and iOS support
Best Internet Security Suite
Installs in a few minutes
Threat level customizations
Cloud-based support
Best Free Antivirus
Easy-to-use interface
Analytics-based antivirus
Detects Wi-Fi vulnerabilities
Best Password Manager
Intuitive interface
Support for up to 50 users
Easy password sharing
Our experts have reviewed the best small business antivirus software for 2020. See up-to-date comparisons for the top-rated programs.

Antivirus and internet security software solutions act as the first and last line of defense between your small business's devices, their sensitive data and unauthorized access from outside entities. Though there are countless options out there, we whittled the field down to 15 major players during our evaluation process before selecting our best picks. We feel these options provide a comprehensive and easy-to-use platform that most small businesses can implement without breaking the bank.

How We Decided
Our team spends weeks evaluating dozens of business solutions to identify the best options. To stay current, our research is regularly updated.
15
Considered
7
Researched
4
Selected

Compare Our Best Picks

  Kaspersky Bitdefender Avast Business Avast Free LastPass Teams
Antivirus/malware protection Yes  Yes Yes  Yes No
File shredder No No Yes No No
VPN No No Yes No No
Password manager No No Yes Yes Yes
Sandbox Yes Yes Yes No No

Our Reviews

Kaspersky: Best Antivirus for Small Businesses

Easy installation and automated tasks
Hosted solution can be managed from a browser
Banned for government agencies due to Russian connection

When it comes to antivirus software, Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business Advanced (KESBA) has a layered defense that can shield an entire company from a range of internet threats at little more than $57 per seat. With its highly customizable security protocols, industry-leading malware disinfection and relatively lightweight software, businesses in need of an endpoint security platform would be hard-pressed to find a better option.

Kaspersky has long been known as a leader in cybersecurity. For this platform, the company adopted a multilayered approach to its security measures, combining local machine scans with real-time protection methods. The combination works in tandem to create a system that persistently seeks out system-altering code for potential threats and works to eliminate them. If a suspicious item is found, the program sends the offending item to the Kaspersky Security Network for analysis.

In addition to providing real-time threat protection, KESBA can fully integrate with Kaspersky's Sandbox, providing a safe area for IT departments to test software without risking an actual machine. Along with being able to monitor when systems in a company's network log on, the platform can then set up appropriate policies and access levels for those systems in real time. IT administrators can set individual permissions for each user, with the option to establish two-factor authentication for added security.

KESBA hosts a bevy of other features, including a host-based intrusion prevention system that can block unwanted programs in real time while leaving safe programs alone; a powerful firewall to block unauthorized entry and removal of data from systems; employee internet browsing controls; and a patch management system that ensures devices, operating systems, and major apps are perpetually up to date.

For the more privacy- and security-minded company looking to keep data locked down, the platform comes with the option of data protection using FIPS 104.2 and common criteria-certified encryption methods at the full disk or per-file level using tools like Microsoft BitLocker and macOS FileVault. If a company phone or tablet is lost or stolen, anti-theft measures in the platform allow for the device to be located via GPS, forced to sound an alarm, or be locked down or wiped remotely.

KESBA provides multiple protection layers for today's most-used systems, including Windows, Linux, Mac-powered machines, Android and other mobile devices. In addition to individual machines, KESBA provides security for Windows and Linux servers, Windows Server containers, and removable storage.

Pricing for KESBA depends entirely on how many licenses you need. Pricing starts at $575 for 10 single-year licenses and goes up to $7,000 for 100 licenses good for three years. These prices put KESBA on the lower end of cost compared to its competitors.

As far as the platform's interface is concerned, the web-based management console puts everything in one place, regardless of how many users it's monitoring at any given moment. While running, an IT professional can control policies, schedule reporting and make changes to single systems or the entire fleet with relative ease. At the employee level, administrators can make it so the system doesn't show up at all, since it will continue running in the background.

While the system runs great, we were disappointed that it didn't come with a file shredder. We also noticed that the system's file scanner ran slower than other options, though your results may be different based on the specifications of your computer. It should also be noted that due to Kaspersky's relation to the Russian Federation's military, it was banned for use in systems used by the federal government. Though the company says it has nothing to hide and is not part of the Russian government, it may be a cooling factor for some companies.

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Bitdefender: Best Internet Security Suite

Automated threat detection and response
Can create reports based on activity and potential threats
Pricier than other options

Bitdefender GravityZone Ultra Suite is a powerful, single-agent security suite that provides excellent protection covering multiple attack vectors. Though it's pricier than its competitors, Bitdefender's bland, yet simple interface allows for an easy-to-use, automated solution that can provide real-time security data.

Utilizing modern layered endpoint protection, Bitdefender GravityZone Ultra provides effective defense for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, as well as Android or iOS phones and tablets. The system uses traditional signature scanning for known bad agents while also implementing its real-time monitoring capabilities to scope out early signs of an attack.

Each system that has the suite installed is hardened with encryption and supported with patch management and web threat detection software. GravityZone Ultra can not only disinfect and quarantine malware-infected software, but it can eradicate exploits before they happen, mitigate damage caused from an attack, and terminate malicious code before it takes over a system.

Along the way, GravityZone's Event Recorder monitors and archives all processes, files, registry, network events and changes, making infection recovery easier. Should a system get so overburdened with malware that it becomes unresponsive, Bitdefender's Rescue software can boot the system in a secure Linux environment, thoroughly clean it and recover its data.

The key is that GravityZone Ultra consolidates all security protection into a single software agent that is controlled by an integrated console, delivering effective control and protection with low overhead. Many policies and actions can be handled remotely, like initiating scans or grabbing updates, to react to a new exploit.

The system has a sandbox virtual machine for safely inspecting suspect programs. In addition, GravityZone Ultra's process inspector, HyperDetect and Process Inspector, can ferret out novel threats from fileless intrusions to ransomware attacks that can cripple an entire business.

It has a two-way firewall that can block data traffic coming into or going out of the system. It works with disk-level encryption using BitLocker (for Windows systems) and File Vault (for Macs) but lacks file-level encryption.

GravityZone Ultra lacks several items that more mobile organizations might miss. For instance, it does without a file shredder for making items permanently disappear. There's neither a built-in virtual private network (VPN) nor a hardened browser that forces the use of a secure connection. The assumption is that a company will have the former, which makes the latter superfluous. Still, these items can help create a ring fence around a company's digital infrastructure.

At $75.11 per seat for 25 to 49 licenses with no separate server licensing fee, GravityZone Ultra costs more than comparable solutions offered by Bitdefender's competitors.

Its interface may look bland, but GravityZone Ultra squeezes a lot into a small format. The most powerful part of the program is the four-square logo in the upper left of the screen, which lets you fine-tune the security stance. It allows the turning on or off of things like Wi-Fi monitoring, anti-phishing and data protection – but only if you let employees have the control, because any of these items can be grayed out. A task tray icon rounds out the interactive elements, but it only offers a link to the main window.

GravityZone's Dashboard is powerful, with the ability to operate on a single system, a group or every computer in the company's fleet. It provides the ability to set and exercise policies, check on software updates and assign rules. In addition to colorful graphs of activity and threats, it can create reports.

Bitdefender GravityZone technicians are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by phone, email and chat. The site has plenty of self-serve resources available, plus add-on options like training, setup, and three tiers of premium service for faster response, as well as periodic security assessments.

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Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus: Best Free Antivirus

Zero-cost solution that's good for small teams
Comes with CyberCapture and Wi-Fi Inspector
Still lacking some potent features

While high-end security systems aimed at companies with their own servers or larger workforce are fine for those situations, they don't fit the bill for very small businesses or self-employed individuals. In those cases, free options like our best pick Avast Free Antivirus are perfectly capable methods of protection. Thanks to Avast's easy-to-use interface, top-notch security measures and low, low cost of free, this is an excellent program that will take no time to download and set up.

While Avast's premium services offer complex, multilayered protection for a monthly subscription fee, users of the company's free consumer-grade option get a taste of that as well. Like any good piece of antivirus software, Avast Free Antivirus can scan a device's memory and storage for all sorts of digital maladies, including viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, and phishing. The company says its traditional scans use "smart analytics" to catch and kill threats before they cause major damage. The program also benefits from a Smart Scan function that seeks out potential weak points in a computer's defenses where malware could potentially seep in, including unsafe system settings, bad passwords, suspicious browser add-ons and software in dire need of an update.

This free version of Avast's product includes CyberCapture technology, which automatically sends any suspicious files or programs to the company's servers for analysis. If it's seen as a threat while under investigation in the cloud, the company works on a fix that it can then send to all Avast users, strengthening computers around the world. Additionally, Avast Free Antivirus comes with a feature called the Behavior Shield, which acts similarly to the CyberCapture function by regularly checking on previously installed applications for any problems, making sure that a bad update or error in the code doesn't lead to any potential system infections.

A software updater is included in the software to ensure your programs are up to date. The program's Do Not Disturb mode is particularly useful if you rely on a laptop to deliver presentations on the go, since it blocks Avast's sometimes annoying notifications that seemingly only come up at the least opportune time. Avast Free Antivirus includes a password locker, if you need a centralized location to store all of your important passwords.

Since the program is free, it's especially great to see that it has an almost foolproof interface. The menus are easy to read, the icons and descriptions are immediately understandable, and it's easy to tell which features are free and which require a paid subscription. The program works well on its own, since users can set a schedule for future scans, and since it doesn't take up too much of a computer's resources to run, it can easily run as a set-and-forget piece of software.

While it's great to see all those features in a free program, it's hard not to shake the feeling that a lot of the premium features are greatly missed. Not having a sandbox virtual machine to safely test programs is a problem for some people, and the fact that it doesn't come with a firewall could be a deal-breaker for some. Most operating systems, however, come preinstalled with a competent firewall, so its omission isn't the end of the world.

We were also a little put off by its support structure. While their website has an extensive knowledgebase that covers everything related to the company's products, we had a hard time trying to find an email or phone number for the company. The best we could find was a contact form to fill out and wait for a response.

Still, if you're looking for a free option that covers most of your security needs without breaking the bank, Avast Free Antivirus is the solution.

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LastPass: Best Password Manager

Incredibly easy to use
Accessible from anywhere
Sometimes automatically enters incorrect data

LastPass Teams continues the company's line of excellent password managers that can help make your personal online security stronger by providing the tools to make sure your passwords are extremely difficult to break. Along with its ability to run on nearly every platform and most browsers, LastPass Teams has an intuitive interface that lets managers determine how company passwords are used and disseminated among employees for a great price.

View all of our recommendations for internet security and antivirus software on our best picks page. 

We all use passwords. For some of us, that reality means having dozens of passwords across multiple accounts. Password managers like LastPass Teams make it so you don't have to remember every single password you set, and it makes it even less likely you commit the cardinal sin of reusing the same passwords over and over again.

As a business-grade password locker, LastPass Teams lets managers set permissions for all kinds of company logins. Administrators can easily add or remove employees from the system, share passwords with those who need access, and set restrictions for each employee to make sure the wrong person doesn't get access to some of the system's more powerful and important features.

On the administrator dashboard, an up-to-date report showcases how secure the company's password setup is, with things like an average security score, the average password strength and the number of users with a weak security challenge score. Even more important is the system's ability to find and note things like recurring master passwords, which employees use to enter their own LastPass vaults, or the number of employees with weak master passwords. Being able to locate these vulnerabilities allows the administrator to pinpoint potential vulnerabilities and mitigate them before things go sideways.

Administrators can set requirements for system users, including things like requiring multifactor authentication and setting requirements for how passwords are made, like a minimum number of lowercase characters in a password or if special characters are allowed at all. The more unpredictable a password can be, the less likely it is to be quickly broken by someone trying to get in.

Since LastPass Teams is compatible with Mac, Linux, and Windows-based computers, as well as Android and iOS mobile devices, users have access to all their passwords wherever they are able to log in to the system. LastPass even has a browser plugin that can automatically input passwords if accessed from a trusted machine.

LastPass Teams costs $4 per user, per month and clocks in at one of the best values in the password manager space. There are additional service tiers that include more robust features and higher user counts, with the most expensive tier clocking in at $8 per user, per month for a more enterprise and MFA-level solution.

From a usability standpoint, LastPass Teams has an interface that anyone can use. Once you log in, all of your passwords are shown with large buttons depicting each website associated with the appropriate username and password. End users don't have to worry about any additional functionality beyond that point, though tools like a password generator are available in the menus.

While the system itself is great, occasionally it either inputs the wrong information or is too quick when doing so. In both instances, that can lead to wrong passwords and usernames getting submitted before the user has time to change their credentials. With secure sites often only allowing a certain number of missed logins before the user is locked out, that can be a huge headache. It's also worth noting that LastPass Teams is only good for teams comprising up to 50 employees.

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Pricing

When considering either an antivirus software solution or an internet security platform, the number of employees you have will factor significantly into your decision. While it's ideal for all of your business's devices to be as secure as possible, it could also be a question of cost, since prices associated with such software go up the more seats are added. A single-seat price may seem tempting, but it's merely that company's opening bid, with costs jumping up as the number of employees covered increases from five to 100 or more users. In our research, we found instances where prices differed by 50% or more in some cases.

As you shop for a solution, be on the lookout for special offers or discounts for renewals, or purchasing multiple licenses. Doing so can reduce your overall yearly fees and get the most bang for your buck.

You can determine whether a software option is right for you by taking advantage of the free trials usually offered by most companies. Getting a feel for how the software affects your computer's performance can be just as important as understanding what it protects you from.

If running a virus scan completely bogs your machines down, causing significant reductions in productivity, then it's only addressing one problem and creating another. Similarly, if your employees have to constantly wrestle with a security program that really should be working in the background, that's also a red flag that should preclude you from switching to the paid version.

When shopping for an internet security solution, take advantage of free trial periods. Use the trial to test and evaluate the following:

  • Performance: Antivirus/Antimalware can take up a lot of your computer's resources when active, let alone when it's performing a system scan. Do your research see how the software will use up your processing power, as it could affect the performance of your other applications.

  • Ease of use. The best programs are ones that do their jobs without requiring much input from you. It should be easy to schedule regular scans, plus it should provide you with important notifications and alerts. If it is capable of detecting malware, it should walk you through the process of fixing the issue.

  • Security features. Besides active internet protection, investigate the program's security features. Some programs come with unique options to further protect your data, such as anti-theft capabilities, firewalls or email scanners.

Look for companies that offer rewards or discounts for renewing licenses, or buying multiple licenses; this will lower the cost of your annual renewal fees.

Buying Guide

Internet Security Features to Consider

All antivirus and internet security solutions aim to protect devices against malware, viruses and other issues that originate from surfing the web without some safeguards in place. As with most tech-based services, it all comes down to the features that set companies apart. In many cases, the business-facing versions of these programs are often based on the consumer versions, usually including more specialized features on top of those offered to the average user.

When evaluating antivirus and security software solutions, look for the following features and protection methods for your business:

  • Email scanning: Every business relies on email. With the right software, all email messages and incoming attachments can be scanned for infected files and other intrusion methods.

  • Phishing: This technique involves getting a potential victim to click on a link in an email or website that then downloads identity-stealing code. A good security solution uses its email-scanning capabilities to ensure the links in a message are safe.

  • Ransomware protection: Costly ransomware attacks have made the news in recent years and for good reason. They are costly intrusions where computers get locked down unless a fee is paid, so any tool that can preemptively avoid this issue should be considered.

  • Sandbox: If you're an IT administrator trying to see if an unfamiliar app is safe for the company to use, a good internet security solution will provide a secure area on your computer to limit any potential damage.

  • Distributed denial of service (DDOS) protection: DDOS attacks occur when a series of systems or automated bots overwhelm your server with requests, often shutting the entire network down. The best server security software can respond to this type of attack.

  • Data shredder and encryption: Every company has confidential material, and using either file- or disk-level encryption can keep it secret. Shredding a file is more complete, because rather than only removing its file allocation table entry, this technique overwrites it several times to make the file disappear.

  • Firewall: Firewalls separate a system from the dangers of the online world. The best offer ultimate protection by blocking unauthorized data coming in and going out while allowing important data to pass unmolested.

  • Patch management: Staying on top of the latest patches available for your software is important. Patches can do everything, from optimizing a program to addressing security issues that may have been found since the last update.

  • User interface: A good, easy-to-understand interface is important. It doesn't matter how good a tool is if you can't use it.

  • Compatibility: Our technologically reliant world lives on more than just PC or Mac desktops. Since viruses can attack everything from our home computers to the tablets and smartphones we carry with us, it's important that an antivirus solution protect all of your devices.

Keep in mind that this list is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to internet security features. You may need all or none of these things, depending on the reality of your business. Always look at the optional features provided by certain companies. In some cases, companies also offer access to third-party services, such as a VPN.

Other features that would be good to keep an eye out for but were not necessarily deal-breakers include a hardened web browser or encrypted keyboard, since both provide an extra layer of protection.

Benefits of Computer Security Software

With billions of people on the internet, it's impossible to know who's trying to access your systems and to what end. It's with that uncertainty in mind that internet security and antivirus software exist. Your business has sensitive data, whether it's your customers' credit card information, HIPAA-regulated patient data or any other information you want to keep secure. The right internet security software can help ensure that your data is at least protected.

Depending on the software suite and service tier you select, internet security and antivirus software can protect against a range of scenarios. Malware can cause major slowdowns on your machine, block you from accessing certain parts of your system, or cause other major headaches on your device and others on the same network. Ransomware is a type of malware that can lock down your machine, with the promise of unlocking it once you pay a fee. Phishing uses email messages to make you accidentally give up your personal information, like passwords and credit card numbers.

Along with file protection, some internet security programs also deal with a device's surroundings. Other features, like remote access and remote wipe, can help protect secure data if a device is lost or stolen. Wi-Fi monitoring functionality can keep your system safe from unprotected networks as well.

Internet Security and Antivirus FAQs

Can antivirus software remove existing viruses?

Antivirus software scans the existing files on your computer's memory and storage. In the event that a file is infected, most solutions "quarantine" the file by deleting it from its original location, rendering it inert and moving it to a new location. This can take place regardless of how long the file in question has been infected.

Is free antivirus safe? Free antivirus software protects against viruses and malware, just as the paid versions do. The main difference between the two versions is the paid solution more often detects newer threats quicker and may come with additional features that don't exist in the free version. Paid software could potentially run faster or be significantly more thorough in its searches compared to free software.

How does computer security software work?

Computer security software works by regularly searching for any vulnerabilities in a system. That usually includes scans for malware, virus and other malicious code. Such software also seeks out and protects against potential security lapses. Some options include blocking the use of unauthorized USB devices and restricting users from making modifications to the system itself. Computer security software is often extremely modular, so the features and protections provided depend on your business and its needs.

How do you get malware infections on your computer or mobile device?

Malware can infect your computer or device when you download and install infected software, though it can also spread through email or an unsecured internet hyperlink. Usually, this happens when a bad actor online alters a program to include the malware. Once on your system, malware generally tends to alter existing files on the computer and spread throughout a network. This action can often lead to users getting locked out of the system, inexplicable popups showing up on the screen or major performance issues on the infected device.

What is the difference between antivirus and internet security?

Antivirus software protects against malware, viruses and other malicious code. Internet security software casts a wider umbrella of protection, usually including antivirus, firewalls and other protective measures.

What are the different types of internet security?

Internet security is more of a blanket term for the different types of protective services out there. Generally, internet security software can do the following: firewalls, antivirus, endpoint security, sandbox capabilities, ransomware and phishing protection, file shredding, data encryption and other services.

Community Experts on Internet Security Software

There are almost as many reasons why a company would choose one solution over another as there are platforms available at any given moment. Since the field is so diverse, and opinions are so varied, we turned to the small business community to understand which solutions they were using and why.

One consideration we consistently saw was the need for a solution that was quick and easy to implement. For Sophie Summers, who serves as a vice president of marketing at Proprivacy, that easy solution was Bitdefender.

"I have been using a total security version of Bitdefender for all our Windows-based PCs for the last two years," Summers told business.com. "You only need to install and set it once, and then it will keep doing its job silently ... [only taking] minutes to scan the whole PC files without slowing down the system."

Along with the fact that it is compatible with the rest of her computer's functions, Summers pointed to other features like a startup optimizer, which helps speed up the PC overall. Add in the software's compatibility with leading browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox, as well as the inclusion of Bitdefender's own hardened browser, and you have a solution that she called "the best software for scanning the system, removing suspicious files and preventing online infectious content."

While some of the individuals we spoke with had stuck with their chosen solution for years, others shared their stories for why they jumped ship from one option to another. Hassan Alnassir, the founder and CEO of Premium Joy said his company had tried multiple options before choosing Kaspersky for its internet security solution.

"I have tried cybersecurity solutions from several popular brands like Norton and McAfee, but they all don't compare to Kaspersky when it comes to not slowing down the PC," he said. "I also find Kaspersky's app interface to be pretty clean and simple to use without any complications whatsoever."

When asked what he especially liked about Kaspersky, Alnassir said the software's ability to block malicious sites while browsing online is a huge help.

Similarly, Dustin Vann, owner and CEO of Trusy Social said his company switched to Bitdefender from the solutions at McAfee because they just needed a stronger safety net than the latter company could provide.

"We changed from McAfee as it didn't offer the added layer of security that Bitdefender did, plus it was harder to automate tasks with regular errors," Vann said. "We liked the option where you could grant or deny access to websites and applications, essentially avoiding any services that have the potential to cause problems."

Our Methodology

We researched a wide range of antivirus software and internet security solutions, including their plans and features. The process began by compiling a list of vendors. Along with the service providers we were familiar with from past reviews, we added vendors we found in our research, those that regularly appeared on other reputable online lists and reviews, and companies that reached out to us asking to be considered for review.

Then, we visited each vendor's official website, taking notes of their features and pricing structures. When possible, we downloaded and tried the software if a free trial was available. When a trial period wasn't an option, we watched product demos and tutorials to get a feel for how the product worked and understand its key features.

After the testing phase, we reached out to our finalists, posing as a potential customer with questions about their platform. We asked everyone the same set of questions when applicable while taking note of the quality of service we received.

Finally, we arrived at our final determination by considering which software solutions struck the best balance of price, feature set and ease of use. Here are the criteria we used to evaluate each option:

  • Pricing structure: Affordability is important to any business. We looked for a variety of pricing options with the express intent of seeing whether their offerings could be helpful to a wider range of needs and budgets.

  • Features: We looked for features that defended against the largest number of attacks. Most antivirus and internet security solutions handle many of the same types of intrusion, so any additional bells and whistles that make the process more comprehensive were a plus.

  • Ease of use: Having a program that's too hard to implement is of no use to anyone. While some of our options may be more worthwhile if your business has a dedicated IT professional on staff, we sought out options that were easy enough for anyone to install and utilize.

  • Compatibility: Unless every computer in a company is set up at the same time, it's hard to find a scenario where every machine is exactly the same. If your security solution doesn't work on every machine your business uses, then it's not worthwhile. We sought out options that worked with the most recent versions of Windows and Mac OSX, though Linux was often also covered.

  • Mobile security: Businesses are increasingly mobile these days. If a provider offered security measures for Android and iOS devices, that was a major plus in our search.

  • Server software: Though mostly important to businesses that run their own servers, a good software package for IT departments requires a feature set that allows for remote management while also protecting against network threats like DDoS attacks.

State of the Industry

It should go without saying that as the world continues to become more reliant on technology to perform daily tasks, there will always be a need for strong internet security and antivirus protocols. New products and companies enter the market every year. Analysts expect both industries to grow significantly over the coming years.

According to a study by Statista released in October 2019, the global information security technology market stood at $75.5 billion in 2016. The industry is expected to grow to approximately $116.6 billion this year, and experts estimate it will balloon up to $151.2 billion by 2023. The top five leading Windows anti-malware software companies in terms of market share according to Statista are: Symantec Corporation (13.52%), McAfee Inc. (12.67%), ESET (12.37%), Bitdefender (10.49%), and Avast (7.95%).

Regardless of their position in the market, these companies and their products have their work cut out for them as time goes on. Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving landscape; hackers find new exploits and destructive measures to gain access to sensitive data. As they find new methods to break into systems, cybersecurity software firms have to quickly find ways to patch up and eliminate any methods of ingress.

Cybercrime has been incredibly expensive to deal with around the world, as the total cost of damages caused by data breaches skyrocketed from $17.8 million in 2001 to $3.5 billion in 2019. Phishing schemes, with 114,702 instances reported to the IC3 in 2019, were the most prevalent form of cybercrime.

While dealing with digital threats, cybersecurity companies have to contend with new and upcoming legislation. The passage of the European Union's privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, changed the face of business on the internet nearly overnight when it was implemented in 2018. Though the U.S. doesn't have a similar law at the federal level, California passed its California Consumer Privacy Act in 2018. It's uncertain if the federal government will take similar action.

What to Expect in 2020

While most of the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic, antivirus software and internet security software companies must constantly be vigilant to potential threats. With more people stuck indoors, the number of connections to the internet is growing over time, leaving more points of vulnerability. Each flaw or unsecured part of the network could spell catastrophe for already struggling businesses, so the cybersecurity software industry has to keep focused on the task at hand.

Cybersecurity protocols could continue to become more automated, as more products implement machine learning technology to find and eliminate threats as they happen. Expect more companies to push for better optimization on their programs as well, as computers gain more processing power over time.

Additional reporting by Brian Nadel.

Andrew Martins: Writer
Andrew Martins,
business.com staff
See Andrew's Profile
I am a former newspaper journalist who has transitioned to strictly cover the business world for business.com and Business News Daily. I am a four-time New Jersey Press Award winner and prior to joining my current team, I was the editor of six weekly newspapers that covered multiple counties in the state.

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How many of you are secure in your security policies, especially cybersecurity?
5 Responses
Dr. John Elcik
Dr. John Elcik
Answered
I have 58 WordPress websites to protect on a VPS managed server. While I don't rely exclusively on the Hosting company; they do backups and take other assorted security measures. I believe that iThemes WP-Better-Security and Wordfence are the top security plugins for WordPress so I use one or the other on every website I build. I'd like to pick and stick with one, but sometimes there are WordPress themes that simply won't cooperate. :-) Whichever plugin is used I remove the user name...
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What type of protection can a person put on their home computer to prevent uninvited malware, postings, phishing, etc.?
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Laura Bungarz
Laura Bungarz
Answered
There is no software that will magically fix everything. But here are some suggestions. 1. Run an anti-virus program constantly. You indicated you were "downloading your email" so I'm assuming that means you're accessing your email via Outlook. Make sure your anti-virus scanner has the option to check Outlook, many do, use it. Suggestions are AVG, Norton, McAfee, Malware Bytes. Remember not to open email and attachments from people you don't know. 2. Use the built in firewall that...
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In level of importance from 1 to 10, where does the security of your business fall?
6 Responses
Scott H. Zucker
Scott H. Zucker
Answered
Brandon: I would think the answer to your question would be determined by where the value of the "goods" associated with a business are housed. If a business has a physical location with physical goods, physical security and insurance are important. If a business is based on "information products" and those are housed locally, items like redundant backups, anti-virus/anti-malware protection, and errors and omission insurance becomes important. If the content is stored in the cloud, in...
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How can I secure my WordPress website?
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Ray Mitchell
Ray Mitchell
Answered
The only way to prevent contact form spam is to not have a contact form. That doesn't work for most people, so the best we can do is reduce the amount of spam that is allowed to be submitted without making it too hard for real contacts. From a general security perspective, you want to reduce the number of bots and bad actors from reaching your site. A good security plugin like WordFence will help reduce unwanted visitors. I've had good success with using Contact Form 7 and the Contact Form 7...
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