Has Avast Just Launched The World’s First Free Business-Grade IT Security?

Duncan MacRae is former editor and now a contributor to TechWeekEurope. He previously edited Computer Business Review's print/digital magazines and CBR Online, as well as Arabian Computer News in the UAE.

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Avast for Business is said to bring straightforward, cross-platform and cloud-managed security to the market

IT security specialist Avast Software has introduced Avast for Business, a free cloud-managed security offering aimed at protecting small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) from viruses and cyber attacks.

Avast for Business is a cross-platform solution, which Avast claims is the first free information security product built for businesses. The solution hopes to solve both budget and security challenges for SMBs, especially those with lean IT budgets or limited IT resources. Avast’s says its freemium approach to security has made the company the most popular security provider in the consumer market with more than 230 million mobile devices, PCs, and Macs under its protection.

Simplicity

Vince Steckler, CEO of Avast, said: “We believe the time is right to provide great security that is not only free, but also simple for SMBs to implement and manage. A small business may not view their customer database or online orders at the same level as data of an enterprise. Avast for Business addresses the problem of those businesses using consumer products and not being adequately protected; it gives those enterprises a business-class solution they can grow with.”

online securityThe devices of Avast’s network of more than 230 million users function as de facto sensors, providing Avast with information about suspicious files to help detect and neutralize new threats as soon as they appear. Once Avast identifies a suspicious file on a single device and reports it back to its servers, all Avast users around the world are immediately protected. By using Avast for Business, SMBs contribute to and benefit from the same sensor network.

Avast for Business allows users are able to monitor, manage and protect devices anywhere, anytime from Avast’s cloud-management console. From the easy to navigate console, users have the ability to configure robust reporting and alerting to easily stay on top of what is happening inside of their environment.

Avast for Business features include:
· Free Essential Antivirus protection (File Shield, Web Shield, Mail Shield)
· HTTP and HTTPS Threat Scanning & Integrated Browser Protection
· A Web-based management console that is accessible anywhere, anytime.
· Robust reporting and alerting engine
· Cross-Platform Support including Windows and Mac OSX.

For advanced security requirements, Avast for Business also offers premium services. There are no limits on the number of protected devices, and businesses can activate and deactivate licenses as needed. Premium features include the basic offerings plus:
· Firewall
· SafeZone
· Sandbox
· Anti-spam
· Datashredder
· Exchange and Sharepoint protection (server platform only)

Later in 2015, Avast plans to introduce programs for managed service providers and the reseller channel, to benefit from the power of free. In the spring, Avast will form its first ever partner advisory council in order to bring partners closer to Avast, to discuss features and functions specific to their needs.

Kyle Barker from Championship Networks, an Avast Partner, said: “The new Avast for Business is easily the best thought out cloud-managed antivirus solution on the market today, at any price. Avast for Business includes all of the necessary features required, without the bloat of competing products. The result is an intuitive interface that allows even small to mid size businesses to implement enterprise-grade security.”

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