Despite technology advancements, cybersecurity remains a challenge for businesses across industries. Cyberattacks such as malware, ransomware, and phishing can breach enterprise systems and networks to steal confidential client and business data. Also, cybercriminals are continuously coming up with new attacking tools and techniques, making cybersecurity the need of the hour for all businesses.
Cybersecurity software can help protect your computer systems, IT networks, software platforms, and mobile applications from hacking attempts. It uses security technologies such as encryption, endpoint protection, and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to protect your enterprise data in real time from cyberattacks.
A wide range of cybersecurity software tools are available on the market, so choosing the right one for your needs and budget can be time-consuming. To help you, we’ve created a buyers guide that has all the information you’ll need to narrow down your shortlist.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What is cybersecurity software?
Cybersecurity software is a software solution that identifies vulnerabilities and potential threats to protect business systems, applications, and networks from cyberthreats, including viruses, ransomware, and phishing attempts. It uses a combination of technologies such as firewall protection, data encryption and backup, incident response, and website scanning to prevent unauthorized access and ensure real-time enterprise security.
There are many types of cybersecurity software solutions, such as data encryption tools, web vulnerability scanning tools, network defense tools, penetration testing tools, antivirus software, and firewall software. Application security, information security, network security, operational security, and disaster recovery are some common business applications of these tools.
Summary of security status in avast! Endpoint Protection (Source)
Common features of cybersecurity software
Selecting software with the right features is easier when you know what the most common features are and what they do. Here’s a look at a few of those features.
||Scan your systems, software, and networks at regular intervals to detect and report on any new or existing security vulnerabilities, such as viruses and malware.
||Employ security techniques to detect existing threats, reduce the impact of the detected threats, and prevent the occurrence of new threats. All identified security threats are quarantined to prevent contamination of other files and data.
||Set up a plan of action to follow in case a security incident is identified. Log incidents by priority, and diagnose the issue to reduce downtime.
||Encrypt your business data, so it can be accessed or decrypted only by users that have the encryption key (i.e., a password or passcode). To people who don’t have the key, encrypted data appears as scrambled or unreadable text.
||Use a single set of login credentials (e.g., a username and password) to access multiple software applications or platforms.
||Set up a dual authentication mechanism to allow user access to business data and applications. All users have to verify their identity using two sets of credentials (e.g., mobile push authentication along with the standard username and password).
What type of buyer are you?
Before you start evaluating cybersecurity software options, you'll want to know which buyer category you belong to. Most buyers belong to one of the below categories.
- Small and midsize businesses (up to 500 employees): These buyers have fewer users and IT assets compared to large enterprises. They’re on the lookout for a tool that can regularly scan their IT infrastructure for potential cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. A cloud-based cybersecurity solution that doesn't require substantial investment for infrastructure maintenance would be a suitable option for these buyers. Vulnerability scanning and threat mitigation are a few features they should look for.
- Large enterprises (over 500 employees): Compared to small and midsize businesses, these buyers have a larger number of users and IT assets. Thus, their cybersecurity needs (firewalls, data encryption, etc.) are more extensive. They should opt for a full-featured cybersecurity platform to authenticate multiple users, manage large numbers of IT assets, and integrate the software with their existing tools, such as endpoint security software, for seamless data transfer.
Benefits of cybersecurity software
Some of the benefits of cybersecurity tools may be clear from our discussions above, but we've listed the most notable ones in this section.
- Protect sensitive business data: Cybersecurity software encrypts your enterprise data to protect it from hacking attempts by unauthorized users. With encryption, your data is converted into an unrecognizable, coded format, which can be unlocked only by users who have the encryption key—i.e., a password or passcode.
- Secure your computer networks: In the majority of cases, cyberattacks are launched through an organization's computer network. Cybersecurity solutions identify malicious network activities and immediately send a notification, so you can take appropriate action. They use various security techniques, such as vulnerability scanning, threat detection, and firewalls, to monitor your networks in real time and prevent attackers from stealing sensitive data.
Key considerations when selecting cybersecurity software
Listed below are some important points to consider when purchasing a security solution.
- Mobile app availability: Check if the cybersecurity software you’re planning to buy offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Ask vendors if their mobile apps provide access to daily security reports and analytics, so you can monitor your users and IT infrastructure even on the move.
- Customer support: Inquire about the type of support provided by your shortlisted vendors: 24/7, 24/5, or only during business hours. Also, verify if they are available on your preferred support channels, such as email, phone, or live chat. Support services will help fix any network or system issues that can lead to loss of sensitive data.
Market trend to understand
Here’s a recent trend in the cybersecurity software market that you should be aware of:
- Increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to detect cyberattacks in real time: Manual and semiautomated threat detection techniques aren’t able to keep up with today’s constantly evolving cyberattack landscape. In such scenarios, AI and ML technologies are being used to bring the incident response time down to a few seconds via real-time threat intelligence and data security. AI and ML capabilities are being directly deployed at network endpoints, such as mobile phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, and servers, to detect and combat threats in real time.
Note: The application selected in this article is an example to show a feature in context and isn’t intended as an endorsement or a recommendation. It has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.