9 Best Antivirus Software for Businesses in 2024

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9 Best Antivirus Software for Businesses in 2024

9 Best Antivirus Software for Businesses in 2024
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Antivirus software is a key aspect of protecting your business’ resources and devices. The best antivirus software scans and detects malware and protects against viruses and other malicious files designed to compromise company data.
In this article, I’ve listed nine of the best antivirus software for businesses in 2024, including their standout features and how you can choose the right antivirus solution for your business.
While many features—such as threat detection, real-time scanning and ransomware protection—are consistent across various antivirus software solutions, there are key differences that set vendors apart. Features such as firewall protection, OS support and bundled VPN services are a few differentiating add-ons. Below, I compare the top antivirus software by features and price.

McAfee logo.
Image: McAfee

If you don’t yet have an antivirus solution for your business, McAfee Total Protection is a good starting point. McAfee provides continuous and automatic protection from cybersecurity threats such as phishing, viruses, hackers and ransomware.

Screenshot of real-time scanning in McAfee.
Figure A: Real-Time Scanning in McAfee. Image: McAfee

Smaller businesses and startups can benefit from its real-time malware protection across all devices. And, with the multiple subscription plans, you can customize the product for your particular needs.
In addition to standard features such as firewall protection, Wi-Fi security, password management and PC optimization, McAfee offers a PC cleaner, identity protection, file shredder and a virtual private network. Many of these features may be available at an additional cost.
We chose McAfee for its wide availability on many consumer laptops and machines today. Since many PC and computer packages come pre-installed with McAfee, it serves as a decent gateway solution for business owners or employees that are only starting to care about cybersecurity. While it may not necessarily provide the best user experience, its built-in protection is still better than having none at all for your system.
During our review, McAfee Total Protection received a score of 3.5 stars out of 5.
McAfee Total Protection offers three plans:

Kaspersky logo
Image: Kaspersky

As one of the more well-known antivirus providers, Kaspersky is a controversial pick. On one hand, it provides some of the best malware prevention and detection on the market. On the other hand, it has been named a “threat to national security” by the United States Federal Communications Commission for being based in Russia and has been alleged to be a possible venue for espionage.
As much as there are continuing discussions of these allegations against Kaspersky, I believe that any possible risk will depend on a business owner’s personal preference and risk tolerance.

Screenshot of Kaspersky in-app recommendations for companies.
Figure B: Kaspersky in-app recommendations for companies. Image: Kaspersky

For small businesses of up to 50 employees, I recommend Kaspersky’s Small Office Security protection—an antivirus suite that features a premium VPN, password manager and safe money services. The small office security suite protects servers, computers and data and is compatible with various operating systems, such as Windows, Android, macOS and iOS.
For businesses with more than 250 employees, I recommend Kaspersky’s Endpoint Security Cloud, which helps businesses uncover, understand and remediate known and unknown vulnerabilities on their workstations.
Kaspersky has built a strong reputation for its top-tier anti-malware performance and ransomware protection. While there are concerns about its links to Russian intelligence, the product is one of the best antivirus solutions available today.
During our review, Kaspersky received a score of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
Kaspersky’s antivirus solution for businesses is offered in two categories: Small Office Security and Endpoint Security Cloud.

CrowdStrike Falcon logo.
Image: Crowdstrike Falcon

If you’re looking for an antivirus solution centered around artificial intelligence (AI), I recommend CrowdStrike Falcon. It’s a cloud-based software that utilizes machine learning algorithms to detect and respond to attacks in real-time. Businesses can use its endpoint protection to secure their devices and networks against malware, ransomware and other cyberattacks.

Screenshot of Detection stats within Falcon Go.
Figure C: Detection stats within Falcon Go. Image: CrowdStrike

I really like CrowdStrike’s AI-powered threat analysis that allows businesses to identify and respond to potential threats quickly. Because it’s cloud-based, businesses can manage their security from a centralized location. CrowdStrike is available on Windows, Windows Server, macOS, Linux and ChromeOS.
Employing AI technology makes CrowdStrike Falcon a prime solution for users that want bleeding-edge protection, especially those worried about newer and more modern threats. AI-based antivirus solutions can sift through data at a much faster rate—an advantage over other solutions when detecting viruses and other malicious files.
During our review, CrowdStrike Falcon received a score of 4.1 out of 5 stars.
CrowdStrike Falcon offers four pricing tiers:

Bitdefender GravityZone logo.
Image: Bitdefender GravityZone

If using the internet is a big part of your operations, I suggest giving Bitdefender’s GravityZone a try. It is an on-premises and cloud antivirus solution, offering unified endpoint security and analytics and advanced threat intelligence for small businesses. It comes with a single management console and is designed to protect small businesses against phishing, ransomware and other attacks.

Screenshot of Scheduling scans within GravityZone.
Figure D: Scheduling scans within GravityZone. Image: Bitdefender

In particular, I find GravityZone’s web scan feature noteworthy, as it automatically scans all incoming SSL, HTTP and HTTPS traffic to help users avoid downloading malware to their endpoint. In addition to the web scan functionality, users are also provided content scanning and heuristic analysis for protection against worms, viruses, trojans, adware, keyloggers and other types of malicious software.
Bitdefender GravityZone’s web scanner is especially useful for businesses that regularly use online services or applications in their workflow. Most malware originates from the internet, therefore, having a fast-performing web scanner is essential.
During our review, Bitdefender GravityZone received a score of 4.0 out of 5 stars.
Bitdefender GravityZone offers the following subscription plans:

ESET Protect logo.
Image: ESET

If you’re looking for an antivirus solution with multiple plan options, I recommend ESET Protect. ESET provides antivirus services designed for home use, small businesses and enterprises. I appreciate that, within each tier, ESET provides different subscription options.

Screenshot of blocked item in ESET Protect Enterprise.
Figure E: Blocked item in ESET Protect Enterprise. Image: ESET

ESET Protect leverages advanced multi-layered technology to secure PCs, file servers and mobile devices from viruses, brute force attacks and other attack vectors. The solution can be run on-premises or via the cloud, making it easy for enterprises running on a cloud-based, hybrid or on-premises ecosystem to adopt the product.
ESET Protect provides mail security, advanced threat defense, full disk encryption, cloud application protection and file server security.
ESET Protect’s extensive subscription options make it a top consideration for small to large businesses. Its wide-ranging plans allow organizations to choose a service that caters to their specific security needs.
During our review, ESET Protect received a score of 3.9 out of 5 stars.
ESET Protect pricing is categorized under Small Office Protection, Business and Enterprise Protection. Each category offers multiple plan options.
For small businesses, ESET offers:

Avast Business logo.
Image: Avast Business

For those wanting an antivirus solution bundled with a VPN, I recommend Avast Business. Built for small and mid-sized businesses, I find that Avast Business’s package of anti-malware technology, VPN service and ransomware protection make it a viable security solution.
Avast Business also provides password security for businesses that want to protect their employees’ passwords and ensure USB security.

Screenshot of additional services with Avast Business.
Figure F: Additional services with Avast Business. Image: Avast

Avast Business includes identity protection and web protection to help ward off malicious third parties online. Its easy-to-use management console also allows businesses to manage their security across all devices from a single dashboard.
Avast’s Premium Business Security subscription offers a great balance of features in addition to the main antivirus service. It includes phishing protection, web control, endpoint and ransomware protection and a VPN to encrypt and secure online traffic.
During our review, Avast Business received a score of 3.7 out of 5 stars.
Avast Business pricing is subscription-based and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Trend Micro logo.
Image: Trend Micro

For those with Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) as a top priority, I recommend Trend Micro. It touts itself as an all-in-one EDR solution, which, after further review, I find hard to argue against. It offers solutions for both endpoint security and cloud security, top-tier malware detection and blocking and role-based access controls for easier management.

Screenshot of a discovered attack within Apex One.
Figure G: Discovered attack within Apex One. Image: Trend Micro

I specifically like Trend Micro’s Apex One endpoint security solution that provides automated threat detection and response against advanced malware such as living off the land (LOTL), ransomware and fileless threats.
Trend Micro’s focus on EDR security makes it a great pick for businesses that have shifted to a hybrid work environment with remote employees. Strong EDR is crucial in ensuring that any company’s resources, communications or files remain secure, especially when used in a remote setting.
During our review, Trend Micro received a score of 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Trend Micro offers over twenty layers of security for businesses, each with varying pricing plans. I recommend you speak to a representative to discuss your needs.

ThreatDown logo.
Image: ThreatDown by Malwarebytes

If you’re at a mid- to large-sized enterprise, I recommend ThreatDown by Malwarebytes. This is a cloud-based solution designed to detect zero-day threats, brute force attacks and malicious payloads.

Screenshot of the new ThreatDown interface.
Figure H: New ThreatDown interface. Image: ThreatDown

In particular, I appreciate ThreatDown’s AI-powered and automated approach to protection. ThreatDownantivirus uses EDR technology that identifies and remediates attacks to help businesses recover from a cyberattack; the linking engine removes traces of malware.
ThreatDown’s automated protection and endpoint detection and response make it a great set-and-forget solution that offers continuous security for your business. It also includes convenient features such as device control and patch management capabilities.
During our review, ThreatDown by MalwareBytes received a score of 4.0 out of 5 stars.

Microsoft Defender logo.
Image: Microsoft

If your business has heavy Microsoft integration, Microsoft Defender is a no-brainer. It offers a suite of threat protection solutions designed to protect endpoint devices from advanced threats such as ransomware and file-less malware.
While I find the solution works best with Microsoft products, it’s also compatible with other software.

Screenshot of weaknesses list in Defender.
Figure I: Weaknesses list in Defender. Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Defender uses cloud technology to provide security for various operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.
We chose Microsoft Defender for its heavy integration with other Microsoft products. As an offering from Microsoft, the Defender software can be purchased as part of their 365 Business Premium bundle, which includes Office 365, Microsoft Entra ID P1 and Azure Information Protection.
During our review, Microsoft Defender received a score of 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Microsoft Defender for Business has two pricing plans.

Compatibility and integration are essential factors to consider when choosing an antivirus solution for your business. I highly suggest making sure that your chosen antivirus is compatible with all operating systems and applications used by your organization. The antivirus software should also be able to integrate with other cybersecurity software—such as intrusion detection and data loss prevention systems.
SEE: Password breach: Why pop culture and passwords don’t mix (free PDF) 
While the cost of an antivirus solution is a crucial factor to consider, I recommend not compromising on quality. In my opinion, the best way to arrive at a good price is to find a healthy balance between your business’ security needs and overall budget. Consider the size of your business, the number of devices you need to protect and the level of protection required. Some antivirus software may offer more advanced features that you don’t need.
Software should be user-friendly and easy to install and manage. Consider solutions that offer centralized management, automated updates and remote access. This will ensure that your IT team can manage the antivirus solution easily without causing any disruption to your business operations.
SEE: Google Chrome: Security and UI tips you need to know (TechRepublic Premium)
Choosing an antivirus solution that can accommodate your growing needs is essential. Ensure the antivirus solution is scalable and has multiple subscription options or tiers that cater to larger businesses. This is particularly important if you have employees who use personal devices for work, as you need to ensure that those devices are also protected.
This article was originally written by Franklin Okeke. The analysis above focused on critically assessing important antivirus features such as malware detection and removal, performance in independent tests, pricing, extra features and the like. User reviews and testimonials were also used to supplement our findings.
I used an internal algorithm to grade each antivirus solution by these attributes.
This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays
This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays
9 Best Antivirus Software for Businesses in 2024
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