Small business owners embrace the idea of employees supplying their own computers, smartphones, and tablets in the workplace. But the savings and convenience can go down the drain if the employee falls prey to a phishing scam and downloads malware or loses their device. Protecting mobile devices has become increasingly more important as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) grows in popularity.
Technical security measures to protect information are of obvious importance. However, many security incidents relate to the theft or loss of equipment.
We can write multiple blog posts about BYOD policies and educating your employees about the latest threats and tricks that cybercrooks play (spearphishing, for example), which is all extremely important, but if you simply lose your device, then all bets are off anyway. You can avoid headaches in the case of misplaced or stolen devices by having a way to remotely locate the missing device and wiping the data away if it ends up in the wrong hands.
Avast Anti-Theft allows users to log on to their desktop account or use a friend’s phone to remotely locate their device, lock it, activate the remote siren, or wipe its data clean.
Business owners also need to consider what to do about company data on an employee’s personal device when they are terminated or leave the company. Some companies have resorted to wiping personal devices clean of all data, but that includes contacts, family photos, apps and music, which can lead to unpleasant lawsuits or complaints from former employees. Mobile device management systems (MDMs) are available, but could be overkill for very small businesses.
If you only have a few employees, and do not require a full-blown MDM, then Install Avast Anti-Theft for free from the Google Play store to protect your own devices and those of your employees.
Luke Walling, GM of Avast for Business, had confidence in the Avast for Business product all along. But the explosion of new customers has surprised and delighted even him. ~Editor
Avast for Business is the industry’s first free, easy to use, cloud-managed security offering that protects small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) from cyber attacks and data breaches.
The new product has been available for two months, and already more than 75,000 SMB owners have enthusiastically selected Avast for Business to protect their companies.
The new, cloud-managed solution has specifically been adopted by IT consulting, education, and non-profit sectors. Early results also show a strong uptake in managed service providers, who make up 12 percent of Avast for Business’ total installed device count and 2.5 percent of its new users.
A reason for it’s booming success is because most start-ups, small businesses, schools, and nonprofit organizations lack the IT infrastructure to install costly and complex on-premise security solutions. Avast for Business provides the ideal solution. It’s easily scalable and managed from anywhere. Additionally, Avast for Business starts at a price everyone can afford: free, making it a natural fit for small-to-medium-sized businesses and organizations worldwide.
Avast for Business is free for as long as you want it and for an unlimited number of admins and devices. Protect your company with Avast for Business.
Small and medium-sized businesses face a challenge when it comes to keeping their data secure. Many companies don’t have the budget to hire a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to take care of their IT needs, and often, they think they do not have enough knowledge or time to handle it themselves, therefore the path of least resistance is to not have any security at all. At the very best SMBs use a consumer version of antivirus software.
But these days, neither of those options is a good idea. Having no protection leaves you too vulnerable, and the problem with using a consumer product in a work environment is whoever is managing the network cannot look across all computers at once and implement policy changes or updates.
Do hackers really target small businesses?
The media coverage of big time data breaches like Target, Neiman Marcus, and Home Depot may have many SMB owners thinking that they are not at risk, but even small and medium-sized businesses need to make sure that their data and that of their customers is protected.
Here’s a statistic that should get your attention: One in five small businesses are a victim of cybercrime each year, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance. And of those, nearly 60% go out of business within six months after an attack. And if you need more convincing, a 2014 study of internet threats reported that 31% of businesses with fewer than 250 employees were targeted and attacked.
Why do hackers target small businesses?
Hackers like small businesses because many of them don’t have a security expert on staff, a security strategy in place, or even policies limiting the online activity of their employees. In other words, they are vulnerable.
Don’t forget that it was through a small service vendor that hackers gained access to Target’s network. Hackers may get your own customer’s data like personal records and banking credentials and your employee’s log in information, all the while targeting the bigger fish.
While hackers account for most of the data lost, there is also the chance of accidental exposure or intentional theft by an employee.
What can I do to protect my small business?
For mom-and-pop outfits, Avast for Business, a free business-grade security product designed especially for the small and medium-sized business owner, offers tremendous value. The management console is quite similar to our consumer products meaning that the interface is user-friendly but also powerful enough to manage multiple devices.
“Avast for Business is our answer to providing businesses from startup to maturity a tool for the best protection, and there’s no reason for even the smallest of companies not to use it, because it starts at a price everyone can afford, free,” said Luke Walling, GM and VP of SMB at Avast.
Some companies may still opt to pay for a MSP, and in many cases, especially for medical or legal organizations, handing over administration to a third-party may be a good way to go. Either way, our freemium SMB security can be used, and if you use a MSP then the savings can be passed on to you.
Is free good enough for a business?
Many IT professionals have been using free security on their home computers for years. It’s not such a huge leap of faith to consider the benefits of making the switch in their businesses as well.
“I have been using Avast since 2003 at home, with friends, with family. You really come to trust and know a product over the years. It lends itself to business use really well, nothing held back,” said Kyle Barker of Championship Networks, a Charlotte-area MSP.
How do I get Avast for Business?
Visit Avast for Business and sign up for it there.
Recently we started a new corner in our blog, SMB/Business, to talk about the avast! business product line. We will focus on topics which are come up during our conversations with resellers and their clients.
Today we will present a quick guide to answer this question:
How can I correctly reinstall the avast! Antivirus client?
Whether you’ve used avast! Antivirus for a long while, manage a large organization, or simply installed the wrong product, it is imperative that you understand the correct uninstallation procedure before installing a different avast! Antivirus product.
The following guide will help you through the process.
- 1. Navigate to add/remove programs, and uninstall the relevant avast! Antivirus product.
- 2. Download avastclear.exe from here, and save it to your desktop.
- 3. Start Windows in safe mode. (Safe mode is an operating mode that uses only the most fundamental driver and application set required to start the operating system.)
Windows XP, Vista, 7
To get to safe mode in Windows XP, Vista or 7 – Restart your machine, and continuously tap the F8 key. You will then be presented with an Advanced Options Menu, where you can chose to boot from safe mode.
To get to safe mode in Windows 8 – Go to the start screen and type Advanced into the search field. When the search results appear, click the settings category and navigate to the Advanced startup options screen. Clicking restart now will take your computer directly to the advanced startup mode, from there click troubleshoot, then at the startup settings menu press F4 to enable safe mode. Your machine will then restart to safe mode.
- 4. Open the avastclear.exe file you downloaded, and navigate to the root of the previous installation directory. Ex: C:\Program Files\AVAST Software.
- 5. Click remove and restart your machine.
Using the add/remove programs in Windows is not always 100% effective
Enjoy our business solutions! To find more information about SMB products, please follow this link: http://www.avast.com/business
For our existing business partners we also offer products training, which can be found here: http://avast.enterprisetube.com/
Ask a question on the User Forum
Thousands of avast! Antivirus users as well as avast! team members gather on the popular forum to help users-in-need with their questions. It helps to read the rules and practice polite netiquette at all times.
Thank you for using avast! Antivirus and recommending us to your friends and family. For all the latest news, fun and contest information, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Business owners – check out our business products.
Text written in cooperation with Magdalena Kuberacka
AVAST Software is a well known brand thanks to its multi awarded avast! Free Antivirus. However, AVAST is much more than just a great free antivirus solution you probably use on your home computer. Our avast! Business Solutions present portfolio of products designed especially for the Small and Medium Business and offered both online and through our advanced network of business partners representing our brand locally.
AVAST expanded its SMB portfolio and products compatibility.
Starting from January, avast! Endpoint Protection compatibility now includes full support for all Microsoft Windows versions from Windows XP through Windows 8.1. This means that small and mid-sized businesses don’t have to compromise on security, while using a mix of older PCs with the latest Windows tablets, touchscreens and convertible Windows 8.1 devices.
The avast! Business Solutions portfolio has recently expanded to include avast! SecureLine VPN, providing safe public hot-spot connection. This solution is both conveniently packaged and favorably priced, from 5 PCs and up, to fit the needs of small and medium businesses. This solution is offered exclusively via AVAST Business partners. Read more…
This question, from a small-site owner with tens or hundreds of visitors per day, is an unfortunate but all too familiar one.
One morning I started getting emails from my customers complaining that their antivirus reported my site as infected and won’t let them in. It must be some mistake because I don’t have an e-shop. There is just a contact form and information for customers. Is it possible that someone is attacking my business?
Why do hackers attack small webpages when there are larger targets?
Small websites have a very low frequency of updates, and the possibility that somebody would find and fix malicious code is almost non-existent, which make them attractive targets to hackers. Hackers seek unpatched pages based on open-source solutions because they can attack them quickly and easily. These pages are later used for sorting users – by those who have vulnerable applications on their computer and by those who cannot be attacked – or simply to hide their true identity. Attackers close “the door” behind them by patching the vulnerability that leads them in and simultaneously create another backdoor, only for them, so the page does not show as suspicious when tested for vulnerabilities.
In general, there are three common types of hacking events a web administrator could encounter:
This type is recognizable on the first look because the site has been changed to display a message from hackers showing off their skills and mocking the web administrator. This is usually a less harmful attack, and although your page was deleted, you don’t have any financial loss because the motivation for this attack was to show the lack of security on your pages and get credit from other hackers. People which make these attacks usually follow the rule, Don’t learn to hack, hack to learn.
For example, there are PHP shells that lets you select the method and reason of defacement and post it online. The image below shows part of a PHP-shell that sends statistics.
According to statistics from Zone-H, there were 1.5 million sites defaced during 2010, and the screenshot to the right shows the reasons for the attacks. A million and half seems like big number, but these are only documented attacks and the actual number would be much higher.
During the last few years, defacement has been used to display political or ethical opinions by attacking sites with lots of daily visitors. This is turn attracts media and gets as much attention as possible. Even antivirus companies are not spared, as you can read in a recent article about the hack against AVAST.
Those of you who manage Windows servers and endpoints for SMBs or enterprise will be interested to read the latest review of avast! Endpoint Protection Suite from eSecurity Planet. Technology journalist Paul Rubens looked into the nuts n’ bolts of our business product and found the same award-winning multi-layered protection approach as the consumer products –with the addition of server protection and a choice of two central management consoles, Small Office Administration or Enterprise Administration.
The web-based Small Office Administration console is designed for companies with up to 200 end users. Unskilled administrators have a user-friendly central window which controls all functions of endpoint and server security. Despite its simplicity, it offers remote installation and updates of endpoint software, scanning and remote running of scan jobs, and virus activity reporting. There’s also an auto-discovery of new/unprotected or “rogue” machines connected to your company network.
The Enterprise Administration console is accessed as a Windows application and offers sophisticated functionality for skilled IT staff. Admins manage devices organized in a hierarchical tree structure based for example, on the geographical or organizational structure of their network, which makes it possible for them to assign administration access rights and policies. It also includes customizable alerting so they can receive a warning by email regarding activity on your network that warrants their attention.
My first couple times meeting Chris Cantoro, I didn’t know what to think of him but, compared to the Czech personalities I most often work with, I initially thought he was ‘arrogant’. After a few months, however, I had the opportunity to work with him more on various projects, and I discovered that what I’d initially (mis)perceived about him was actually more of an extroverted confidence. As a ‘foreigner’ myself in Czech lands, I started to suspect that his native Italy was somehow involved. The more I’ve gotten to know Chris, the more I’ve appreciated the worldly humor and relaxed energy he brings to our work environment. (BTW, the name ‘Cantoro’ means ‘Singer’ in English, and he can sing in five languages.) – Jason Mashak
1. The general public is often confused about how AVAST remains stable with a ‘freemium‘ model as our flagship product – can you explain how that works?
Everybody has a PC at home, in most cases more than one. We offer a FREE solution for domestic users as we believe everybody has the right to enjoy Internet and at the same time to be protected. If people are happy with our FREE product, then they will consider it also for their business, and they will buy it. Our key marketing strategy has been that the best way to show people we have the best product… is to offer it for free. Read more…
My interactions with Jitka have been brief – she is a no-nonsense kind of person, and so you’ll almost never see her having a chat at the coffee machine. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in one place for longer than a few seconds, unless she has to sit for a meeting or at her desk. At AVAST for almost 5 years, Jitka oversees the interactions between AVAST Software and our business partners around the globe. I of course had to interview her via email, as I doubt she’d ever have time to meet with me. –Jason Mashak
1. Would you say that AVAST Software partners basically enable avast! users to have contacts and support in their own regions and languages, or is it not so simple?
To make it clear from the beginning, our business partners focus on the corporate and SMB segments rather than on home users. When potential customers make contact, our local partners only have a few minutes to establish trust and credibility. Fortunately, combining one of the best-known antivirus brands with our partners’ sales skills and marketing activities has been a simple and effective strategy for this.
Our business partners help alleviate fear of fraud, provide support in the local language(s), design or implement customized deployments, etc., enabling companies searching for an antivirus product to put their trust in avast!
2. How do avast! business partners help contribute to the direction of avast! products or services? Read more…