We also like the newly released Kaspersky Small Office Security, which combines the anti-malware protection you would expect with handy extras ideal for small offices. On the protection front, KSOS delivers real-time protection against viruses, Trojans, worms, spyware, key loggers and other threats. It also rolls in anti-spam protection to filter out dangerous and unwanted email messages. But KSOS goes a step further, delivering employee Web-use management features that let you control access to the Internet -- IM, Websites, social networking and the like -- as you see fit.
Still not enough? The suite also includes data-protection tools to schedule automatic backup for all your PCs and servers, create encrypted file vaults to store and transfer sensitive data and to prevent accidental or unauthorized deletion, plus a File Shredder to irreversibly wipe files off of your systems so they can't be reconstructed.
And KSOS offers a centralized management console so you can control all settings and tasks from one PC. Pricing starts at $179.95 for one-year license for five PCs, and you can add protection for a file server for just $20 more.
|Kaspersky Small Office Security|
Keep Hackers Out with a Firewall
Hackers are always on the prowl for unprotected computers and wide-open networks. Their automated programs can crawl the IP universe in search of vulnerabilities to exploit, be it to plant a botnet agent to distribute spam or DNS (denial-of-service) attacks. In fact, Symantec recorded nearly 60 million attempts by hackers to gain unauthorized entry into business and home computers in a single 24-hour period.
Your defense against such intrusions is a firewall, which acts as a barrier between your PCs/servers and the Internet to prevent unauthorized inbound and outbound network traffic. A firewall will constantly scan each communication port to ensure the packets of data going through them comply with the set security specifications.
The most common type of firewall is a software firewall, and every one of your PCs and servers should have one running at all times. Microsofts operating systems include built-in firewall protection, but many independent lab tests have found even greater protection with third-party software products such as ZoneAlarm Pro from Check Point Software Technologies.
For a yearly subscription of $29.95, ZoneAlarm lets you protect up to three PCs, silently scanning inbound and outbound traffic for threats in the background while you work. It can stop unauthorized programs from sending personal data out to the Internet, and its advanced download protection analyzes browser downloads and warns you if they are malicious.
If your business runs on servers that connect to the Internet, you may want to consider stepping up to a hardware firewall. These always-on appliances act as sentries between your cable/DSL Internet connection and your servers, scanning network traffic for irregularities. Even if your operating system is not working right or the software firewall gets disabled, your network is still protected.
One of the leading hardware firewalls for small businesses is Check Point Softwares $299 Safe@Office 500, a UTM (unified threat management) appliance that provides an enterprise class firewall with VPN (virtual private network) protection, URL filtering (to ensure only approved, legitimate sites are being accessed), messaging security and much more. The product offers a handy wizard-based installation procedure that lets you be up and running without an IT degree, and the embedded software updates itself so your protection is always current.