AVG Unveils Updated Small Business Security Suite

Wednesday Sep 28th 2011 by Thor Olavsrud
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The Internet security firm says small business security customers want software that delivers more while demanding less of personnel, systems and their budgets.

Internet security firm AVG believes that small business security is about delivering more and demanding less. That's the key idea behind its latest small business security software solution: AVG Business Edition 2012.

"One thing we've done a lot of over the past year is research and insight into understanding the pain points SMBs are facing these days," said Robert Gorby, global head of business marketing at AVG.

Gorby explained that customers told AVG that they were happy with the product and wanted the firm to continue improving it, but with a laser focus on keeping it out of the way of business. They wanted enhanced speed of detection, protection and downloading, but they also wanted to minimize interruptions and the demands on users, administrators, the processing power of PCs and servers, and especially the overall budget.

"That's where we absolutely focused," he said. "People just want to get on and run their business. They don't want to manage IT security."

Gorby said the new version of AVG's small business security software is faster, lighter and easier to use. For instance, he said, existing customers who upgrade to 2012 will see a 20 percent reduction in download size and a 50 percent savings on full-disk scan time.

"Existing customers are going to notice the difference in day-to-day performance," Gorby said.

That's possible, he explained, because AVG Business Edition is not a stripped-down version of enterprise security. Instead, it was created specifically for the small and medium business market.

"AVG Business Edition 2012 aims to be the simplest, most tailored security option for SMBs available," he said. "For businesses looking for protection without impeding performance, AVG is the most compelling solution on the market. That said, customers can essentially set and forget -- with peace of mind that we will take care of the rest while they interact in the connected world."

The security suite can be installed on both PCs and any server on the network. It provides a combination of standard signature-based virus scanning, which seeks out malware by comparing potential problems against a database of known threats, as well as polymorphic intrusion detection and heuristic detection.

The polymorphic intrusion detection capabilities are intended to protect against sophisticated malware that is designed to mutate itself so as to foil signature-based detection techniques.  Meanwhile, heuristic detection uses behavioral analysis to protect against zero-day threats, new malware for which there is as yet no signature to compare it against.

Small Business Security Report

In conjunction with the launch of the new small business security suite, AVG also announced new small business market-related findings from its SMB Market Landscape report.

One of the report's findings was that small businesses remain focused on traditional IT vulnerabilities like email and Web viruses, but are not taking steps to safeguard against other IT security threats like information theft and social engineering. Additionally, they are embracing the capability social networking offers to promote their business and engage with customers, but are not taking precautions against social-media threats.

While most security experts will agree that the best defense against such threats is a sound security policy and training for all employees, AVG is seeking to supplement that in the latest version of its small business security software. For instance, Gorby noted that it scans links on social networking pages for viruses or malicious behavior.

Gorby said the report also found that many small businesses have the wrong priorities when it comes to security threats. The report found that, on average, when asked about security breaches, small businesses are most concerned about losing access to files and replacing hardware. The lowest ranking concerns were loss of customer trust, damage to company reputation and loss of sales or revenue.

"What they're not thinking of is the impact beyond that," Gorby said. "If your customer data gets stolen, how does that impact how that customer feels about your business?"

Gorby noted that one in six of the small businesses that responded to the survey had experienced a security breach. Those firms, he said, were much more likely to consider long-term effects like loss of sales and revenue opportunities to rank highest among their list of concerns.

Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to SmallBusinessComputing.com and a former senior editor at InternetNews.com. He covers operating systems, standards and security, among other technologies.

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