Gear of the Year 2017 – SMME security software

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In 2017 it became more a question of when a large company would be the victim of a cyber attack, and not an if.

The biggest cyber attack of the year was WannaCry which tore through networks looking for vulnerable systems, planting ransomware on PCs which captured headlines and had many business people finally take a serious look at security.

Our results, however, seem to show that South African small businesses are not up to spending huge amounts on anti-virus and internet security solutions, despite the warnings out there.

That is evident in our winner for this category beating out Kaspersky Lab, Check Point and even Microsoft – McAfee.

With 17.5% of the votes the firm is our top choice among small business owners. One obvious answer for this win is ubiquity.

As McAfee is now owned by Intel, the software comes pre-in stalled on a number of laptops out of the box. It’s annoying for many users but this may help business owners decide on which security solution to opt for given that one is already installed.

Once the free trial is up, it’s usually easier to just pay for a new subscription instead of playing the field to see what else is out there.

Strangely McAfee is not as easy to get a hold of locally compared to other solutions. The only real way to get it is through the McAfee website which charges customers in pounds. Compare that to the competitors which can even still be bought as boxed copies at retail. This just hammers in the advantage of bundled software.

That having been said this can be centrally managed, and one single subscription can insure all your security needs are covered.

In second position is Kaspersky Lab with 12.3 percent of the votes. Kaspersky has become something of a stalwart in the South African cybersecurity space and with regular updates to its software, it’s no wonder many businesses trust Kaspersky Lab with securing their business.

Another point in the Russian firm’s favour is that its products are easy to find. Whether you are in a brick and mortar shop or browsing online, Kaspersky products are readily available. It also helps that they launched a free product in 2017, giving high grade security to those who couldn’t afford the solution previously.

The third most popular vendor with 11.4 percent in our Gear of the Year survey was Check Point. The vendor offers a holistic solution to cyber security under the Check Point Infinity banner.

Interestingly pricing is not readily available online, which might deter some businesses from selecting this solution. Check Point is however heavily invested in research and as such is able to mitigate issues more easily and with its huge scope of products it can easily serve as a one stop shop for all security needs whether a business spans several countries or one office in Durban.

We must also note that there are a number of solutions not mentioned here that account for 58.8 percent of votes. Putting brands aside this shows us that there is no such thing as the best software, every company has its own needs and the solution that meets those needs is often the best software. It just so happens that some solutions meet the needs of many different businesses.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.