The 6 Best Online Security Solutions to Protect Your Small Business

Running a small or medium sized business (SMB) comes with tremendous technology advantages. But it also means dealing with intensified cybersecurity challenges that can completely derail companies lacking proper safeguards.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the top 6 cloud-based online security software systems purpose-built to protect SMBs of any size against advanced threats.

The solutions covered include:

  1. Avast Business Antivirus
  2. Bitdefender GravityZone
  3. Sophos Intercept X
  4. ESET Endpoint Protection
  5. Cisco Secure Endpoint Essentials
  6. Microsoft Defender for Business

Implementing robust security tailored to the limited budgets and adaptability needs of SMB environments is vital for every modern small business to avoid becoming the next victim of attacks like malware, phishing, ransomware and data breaches.

Online Threats Are Dangerously Rising

Cyber attacks on small and medium businesses are sharply increasing each year as per industry reports:

  • 58% of SMBs experienced a data breach or cyber attack as per a Cisco 2021 survey. This statistic highlights the worrying reality that more than half of small businesses are being impacted.
  • 60% of small companies close permanently within 6 months of a cyber attack as they struggle to recover from the damage according to This outlines the existential risk such attacks pose for SMBs.
  • The average cost of a data breach for SMBs has risen dramatically to $200,000 as per IBM‘s 2021 report. For some businesses, the costs can spiral up to as high as $2 million. This puts many small companies out of business instantly if they are attacked.
  • Phishing and ransomware attacks targeting SMBs increased by nearly 800% and 1100% respectively amid the pandemic as per Barracuda Networks. This rapid shift proves SMBs now face threats of the same magnitude as large enterprises.

In summary – online attacks that threaten even the largest corporations now ruthlessly pursue exposed SMBs frequently, with devastating financial, operational and reputational impact.

Without adequate security, it‘s dangerously naive for any modern small business to believe "it won‘t happen to us".

Why SMBs Need Tailored Cybersecurity Solutions

The stakes have never been higher for small business owners to implement formal online security measures. However, traditional on-premise security hardware, software and expert IT staff needed to operate them are prohibitively expensive.

Thankfully, purpose-built clouded security solutions for SMBs solve these problems through following advantages:


  • Budget-friendly subscription plans avoid large upfront hardware/software investments
  • Scaling to add users has no incremental costs unlike on-premise


  • Intuitive dashboards facilitating easy deployment by non-technical staff
  • Automatic threat updates without manual IT administration


  • Maintaining security best practices is greatly simplified
  • Documenting compliance becomes easier


  • Enterprise-grade infrastructure for maximum uptime and data backup
  • Redundancy and disaster recovery services too expensive for SMBs individually


  • No need to hire scarce cybersecurity experts as resources
  • Staff freed up from security upkeep focuses on core revenue priorities

This makes cloud security platforms the ideal fit for resource-constrained SMBs to implement the same level of security suited even for large enterprises cost-effectively.

It‘s vital for business owners to resist the temptation of not adequately protecting their company just because they cannot understand or operate the solutions independently.

Overview of Key SMB Security Software Capabilities

While all solutions aim to protect SMBs, they take varied approaches when it comes to prevention, detection and recovery capabilities across endpoints, networks, documents, emails, cloud platforms and users.

Here is a primer of the core security features needed:

Anti-malware – Identifies and blocks viruses, spyware, trojans, worms using signatures, heuristics and machine learning.

Network security – Firewalls, web filtering/antiphishing, intrusion prevention and VPN services.

Endpoint detection + response – Continuously monitors endpoints for subtle malicious activities and automatically contains compromised ones.

Application control – Allows/blocks applications and processes from executing on endpoints. Prevents risky apps.

Encryption + data loss prevention– Secures sensitive documents and communications through encryption, rights management, activity monitoring and other data protection measures.

Backup + recovery – Allows restoring original data in case of corruption/encryption by ransomware via retaining easily accessible copies.

Patch management – Automated patch deployment for vulnerable operating systems and software. Eliminates update gaps.

Analytics + reporting– Utilizes logs, events and alarms generated across integrated monitoring systems to provide visibility though dashboards, notifications and comprehensive analysis reporting.

Centralized management– Single unified console to apply security policies, configurations, updates, visibility and reporting across entire infrastructure. Critical for efficient administration.

Mobile device security – Extends protections across mobile devices with data encryption, remote wipe, geofencing rules, etc. Critical for BYOD environments.

The specific capabilities covered in the rest of this guide will provide insight into which solution aligns closest to your business priorities.

1. Avast Business Antivirus

Avast Business Antivirus

Avast Business Antivirus delivers enterprise-grade threat prevention traditionally only accessible to larger companies – making it our #1 SMB protection recommendation.

Let‘s examine why in detail.

Ransomware Protection

Avast provides multiple defenses across the ransomware attack chain for maximum assurance:

  • Real site identification instantly recognizes fraudulent phishing sites with redirection to the correct URL. This stops initial compromise attempts via social engineering.
  • Hardened virus scanner locates and terminates advanced malware slipped past deceived users or via drive-by downloads before encryption activates.
  • Shield protection prevents unauthorized changes to critical files/folders by untrusted processes like crypto ransomware.
  • Recovery tools like the data shredder forcibly delete leftovers that can make recovery difficult.

This layered approach blocks threats at multiple stages improving prevention success rate.

Proactive Threat Detection

Avast checks for emerging threats through diverse methods before they can cause harm:

  • Suspicious file detector observes unusual file activities indicative of malware like injection into normal processes.
  • Web shield scanner identifies malicious downloads from compromised sites. It has the world‘s largest threat detection network enhancing accuracy.
  • WiFi inspector locates misconfigurations and firmware vulnerabilities in routers that can enable infiltration.
  • Webcam shield immediately alerts on unauthorized access attempts to device cameras by malware.

By expanding monitoring beyond just files and apps, Avast minimizes blind spots for attackers to exploit.

Data and Privacy Protection

Avast assists with adequately safeguarding sensitive information:

  • Secure browser isolates suspicious sites inside sandbox environments to contain potential threats. Users avoid picking up infections from risky browsing.
  • VPN encryption hides network traffic from prying eyes and secures public WiFi hotspot usage preventing snooping or manipulation attacks.
  • Password protection generates complex random passwords Making account takeovers unlikely through brute forcing.

This reduces background risk vectors that increase overall business risk exponentially if left unaddressed.

Simple Cloud-Based Management

  • Intuitive dashboard provides visibility into protected devices and alerts ensuring quick response.
  • Role-based access enables granular privilege segmentation preventing unnecessary exposure.
  • Fleet overview reports deliver executive summaries for tech and non-tech leadership alike keeping everyone informed.

For growing SMBs with limited internal security expertise, Avast Business Antivirus delivers robust protection without operational complexity.

Businesses benefiting most from this solution include remote work-based firms, retail stores handling consumer data and companies with bring your own device environments.

Overall, Avast Business Antivirus fills significant security gaps, intercepting sophisticated threats often missed by traditional antivirus-only approaches.

Visit Avast Business Antivirus Website