Should you choose cloud-based security or on-premises protection?
It's a decision that small and midsized companies (SMBs) increasingly grapple with as they seek to safeguard their valuable data. Now, they don't have to worry about making the wrong choice, says with Andrew Singer, Symantec's director of product marketing. "Symantec is simplifying security for small and medium size businesses," he states, with today's launch of Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013.
Small Business Security on Site or in the Cloud
Singer tells Small Business Computing that "customers have a choice of whether they want to manage security on the cloud or on-premises." He adds that "SMBs that want to manage on-premises can move to the cloud later at no additional cost." A flat pricing structure further simplifies matters; a single subscription fee covers both options.
Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013 is powered by the Symantec Online Network for Advanced Response (SONAR), behavior-based detection that goes a step beyond signature-based anti-malware technologies to identify and block threats, particularly zero-day threats.
It also features day-one support for Windows 8, Microsoft's new operating system set to launch on October 26. The product features a two-way firewall, host intrusion detection and prevention capabilities and Web browser hooks that alert users to potentially dangerous online destinations within search results.
The cloud-managed version adds USB device management to restrict access to peripherals and external storage devices like thumb drives that may contain malware. A Web-based console provides alerting, reporting and access to security settings.
For bandwidth-constrained small businesses, IT managers can set a local PC or server to deliver updates to multiple endpoints -- versus having PCs download updates individually -- keeping overall Internet use low. It also integrates with the Symantec's Partner Management Console, allowing resellers to manage both Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013 and Backup Exec.cloud for multiple customers via a single web-based portal.
Is all of this protection necessary for a lowly small business? Yes, and there's a reason, says Singer. Simply put, small businesses no longer fly under a hacker’s radar.
Small Targets, Big Payoffs
Before you reel in the big fish, you have to start small. That's the emerging mindset of hackers-in-training, according to Singer. And it spells bad news for SMBs.
Increasingly, small businesses are bombarded with malware -- viruses, Trojans, spyware, rootkits and key loggers -- that cripple a PC's defenses, steal passwords and give network intruders access to valuable data. "Our data shows that SMBs are being targeted," informs Singer.
According to the company's research, targeted attacks have doubled against SMBs (companies with 250 or fewer employees) during the first six months of 2012. Today, 36 percent of all targeted attacks are directed toward SMBs.
While big companies make obvious targets, they're usually shrouded in enterprise-grade security. Since small businesses typically lack the IT resources of larger organizations, they make an "easier target," he says. For hackers, the potential payoff can be too tempting to ignore. "Their data is just as valuable," explains Singer, adding that hackers are becoming more sophisticated in their approach and see a "small business as a link in the supply chain."
"A hacker might use an SMB as a stepping stone to a larger company," reveals Singer.
Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013 is available now. Prices range from $25.50 to $60 per endpoint.
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