Best security software of 2018

There are countless security tools available, all claiming to provide protection from malicious content. Choosing the right package is essential for protecting company data, passwords and your overall online privacy when you're at home.

CIO UKlooks at 13 of the best security tools for business users. You might work from home, have a home office or run a small business from home so we have reviewed some security tools so you don't have to.

This list will be updated regularly with new software and categories, so get in touch if we've missed one you love.

See also: What are the best smartphones for CIOs and business users?

Anti-ransomware tools
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Anti-ransomware tools

With NHS England suffering at the hands of ransomware attacks last year, both businesses and individuals are upping their protection.

Lots of anti-ransomware tools offer decrypters, these will remove the encryption that ransomware covers your data in, meaning that you can access your files. So while this won't stop an attack from happening, it will mean not all hope is lost when you're trying to recover your files.  But they're not guaranteed to work.

Some great offerings come from AVG, Kaspersky and Bitdefender.

For a full list of anti-ransomware tools, see here. Or to find out how to respond to a ransomware attack, read more here.

Antivirus

Antivirus

Antivirus is essential for securing your home office, protecting users from ransomware, malware campaigns and must malicious activity.

A good antivirus will prevent, detect and remove viruses including trojans, worms and adware from user's computers. Here's some we like:

Webrootoffers three products to protect your PC, antivirus, 'internet security plus' and 'internet security complete'. Its antivirus will secure up to three PCs or Macs providing real-time anti-phishing protection, firewall monitoring and scans that won't slow down your machine.

TotalAVis a free antivirus programme which features auto virus scanning, email protection and device tune-up that protects computers from malware, adware and spyware. The antivirus scans and sends user’s reports on the computer performance ensuring home office security.

Read next: 10 of the best free antivirus products for business use

Firewalls

Firewalls

Firewalls are essential for securing a home office, preventing user access to and from private networks. What's more, it can block hackers, worms and viruses reaching your computer.

Windows Firewallis a great free firewall and one Windows users are probably familiar with. It enables users to choose which features suit their needs, including IPsec and packet filtering that can prevent information loss, computer crashes and password theft.

ZoneAlarm2018's Pro Firewall is paid software for up to five PCs. The software includes a two-way firewall, online backup and an advanced firewall which monitors incoming and outgoing communications blocking hackers, trackers and spyware.

Read next: Best firewalls for businesses 2017.

Anti-keyloggers

Anti-keyloggers

Keyloggers are a type of malware that sends keystrokes off to hackers, without users being aware of the attack. You can use anti-keylogger tools to scan and reduce the amount of keystrokes detected.

SpyShelteris a free anti-keylogger which has an integrate keystroke encryption driver that allows users to privately browse the web. What's more, it shields sensitive data found in Windows clipboard and protects the system's memory (RAM) which can help to reduce the risk of information loss, user access and password theft.

Zemana AntiLoggeris a paid-for tool that allows users to scan specific files and the overall system. This tool monitors rootkit installations, remote threads and physical memory access ensuring home office security.

VPN

VPN

Virtual private networks(VPNs) allow users to connect to the internet via servers controlled by a VPN provider.

Remote workers can connect to overseas office network servers ensuring privacy and data security is upheld.

CyberGhostis one of the best free VPN servers, it's great for beginner users and offers 197 servers globally.

A great example of a paid server is PureVPN. The provider features five multi logins, iOS and Android apps and over 1300 servers.

Read next: 7 of the best VPNs for CIOs

Intrusion detection system

Intrusion detection system

Intrusion detection systems (IDS) block, monitor and detect suspicious activity, sending detailed reports to the user.

Suricatais a free open source IDS that inspects the network traffic using signature language and scripting support, meaning it can detect known threats, policy violations and any malicious behaviour.

This tool can log HTTP requests, store TLS certificates and extract files from flows and store them onto disks, great for those wanting to monitor activity and limit user access.

AlienVaultis a paid IDS which allows users to scan and monitor online activity by examining log data, tracking alarm activity and identifying activities and trends. The product provides monitoring to AWS and Azure cloud environments that can allow users to share documents securely, good for those working remotely.

Network monitoring tools

Network monitoring tools

Network monitoring oversees the operation of a computer network and uses management software which can help users detect and report device failures.

A good network monitoring system is Paessler which offers cloud services, bandwidth and CPU load enabling users to track home computers. What’s more, the free tool gives statuses and alerts on all devices while also creating individual graphical maps for efficient speed and performance.

MMSoft Pulsewayis a remote network management tool that allows users to have better control over their IT systems. The paid version features a dashboard that includes notifications; an overview and set up guide that ensures users can monitor, automate and report online problems.

Device management

Device management

Device management is essential for securing home software that is being used across multiple devices. This allows flexible data, applications and configuration settings for optimal user performance. A good tool will offer remote wiping and locking of devices.

Miradoreis a cloud-based management tool offering users an unlimited number of devices. The service provides security, restriction and control over devices ensuring company data is protected. Miradore supports all devices ensuring application user performance is well managed.

Miradore has three pricing plans including free, business and enterprise depending on the number of devices and organisation size. Its free version offers unlimited devices so it is still worth your consideration.

Spiceworks' paid version features controlled email access, automated compliance actions and restricted rooted devices helping users to manage their devices securely. What's more, the service can locate, lock and wipe user’s stolen devices protecting company data.

Anti-malware

Anti-malware

Malware is any form of malicious software including viruses, spyware and adware which aim to protect PCs from malicious content. Most anti-malware tools work alongside your antivirus suite and detect any signs of suspicious activity.

Bitefender Antivirusoffers antivirus and ransomware protection as well as detecting unauthorised access to your PC. This free edition has a multi-detection element which allows you to scan single files, shared folders and browser sites.

Also available on PC, Hitman Pro offers malware protection, blocks unsafe links and suspicious downloads. The updated version includes a multi-layer protection against ransomware and has a potentially unwanted application (PUA) removal feature which targets apps that contain viruses, spyware and other malicious content.

It offers a 30-day free trial and works alongside your current security suite, adding an extra level of protection. The full version, Hitman Pro Alert is £17.50 per year.

Remote access

Remote access

Remote access is key for home security tools ensuring users have control over their devices.

A great free remote access tool is TeamViewer, which accesses video, voice calls and online messaging system offering user support when needed. The tool can share single application windows, print remote files and connect web browsers for remote access.

This is ideal for CIOs working from a home office and those that travel often.

Encryption software

Encryption software

Encryption converts information or data into a code which can only be unlocked with a certain key making it harder for users to access their networks. The use of encryption software gives users total control assigning an individual password to ensure data is secure.

Cryptainer LEis a free software which encrypts and decrypts user's files assuring overall privacy. This free tool has an encrypted disk drive which allows users to store any type of data.

In addition, it allows users to drag and drop confidential files onto removable drives. This is great for flexibility in storage, backing up data and overall home office security.

AxCrypthas a management feature which allows users to store passwords and codes online.

This paid tool offers a 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption and provides great file sharing, storing and viewing documents with Google Drive and Dropbox integration.

For more encryption tools see here.

Disk wiping

Disk wiping

Disk wiping can enable data recovery for users ensuring company information is protected and retained.

DBAN’s free software automatically deletes the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, preventing users from identity theft and other malicious activities like this.

Blancco's paid version supports all data wiping drivers including SSDs to save time and optimise computer security. This service claims to increase PC speed, scalability and device performance enabling users to work more efficiently.

Anti-spyware

Anti-spyware

Spyware is a type of malware that can be installed on a computer to collect information about the user secretly.

Anti-spyware software can monitor incoming data from websites, email and downloads. In theory it should be able to detect and remove spyware.

SuperAntiSpywareis an older piece of software that can detect and remove spyware, adware and trojans.

It lets you scan ZIP files, websites and downloads and schedule scans, just choose either by offering a quick, complete or custom scan. The latest version 6.0 offers a friendlier interface improving site navigation as well as a faster scanning speed and overall performance.

SuperAntiSpyware offers a free trial with its professional version featuring real-time protection and dedicated customer support. SuperAntiSpyware costs £14 per year.

Malwarebytesis another popular spyware detection and removal product. The company provides a free tool to scan individual files and folders as well as hard drives. What’s more, it offers web protection detecting and preventing access to malicious sites, ads and scam networks.

Malwarebytes is also included in our best anti-malware tools.

Malwarebytes has a free version available for Windows while its premium version costs £49.99 per year and protects up to 10 devices. The company also offers managed business solutions such as the Malwarebytes Cloud Platform and Malwarebytes Endpoint Security.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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