Cybersecurity vendor Avast acquired AVG in 2016 for $1.3 billion. Now, a year later, the company's integration efforts are largely complete and the combined company is making an ambitious new move into the small and midsized business (SMB) security space.
On Sept. 6, it launched Avast Business, a portfolio of solutions for businesses that are facing the realities of a ruthless cybersecurity landscape.
"Small and medium businesses are starting to recognize now that security is something they have to think about," particularly after the recent WannaCry outbreak of brought mainstream attention to the risk of ransomware and other security threats, Sean Sykes, managing director of Avast Business, told Small Business Computing.
In the eyes of cyber-attackers, SMBs are often better targets than large enterprises whose networks are monitored by experience IT security teams.
"There's this significant shift that has occurred," Sykes said. "We've moved from targeting the enterprise. The target is in fact the small and medium business," he added, noting that his own company has been witnessing an uptick in the "the frequency and the severity of attacks" aimed at smaller organizations.
Avast Business Antivirus helps SMBs deflect these attacks by using some of the advanced security technologies that are keeping corporate networks and their endpoint systems safe. These include Behavior Shield, which combines behavioral analysis and threat intelligence to detect suspicious behavior on users' PCs and block activities that may not otherwise trigger an anti-virus warning but constitutes a threat nonetheless.
In general, it's tough for attacks, no matter how new and stealthy, to escape detection by Avast's anti-malware solutions.
The company's cloud-based CyberCapture technology, also included in Avast Business Antivirus, sandboxes unknown files and can quickly determine if they are harmful before they worm their way into other parts of a PC or network, thanks, in part, to a connection with Avast Threat Labs that helps accelerate its detection capabilities. According to the company, CyberCapture analyzes more than 10,000 new files each day, swiftly moving unknown threats into the 'known' column.
The WiFi Inspector capability scans networks for potential dangers, like vulnerable devices and Wi-Fi passwords. It can also spot compromised internet connections and vulnerable routers, helping roaming employees keep their sensitive information safe while they're on the road or working from a neighborhood coffee shop.
Avast Business Pro adds other capabilities that help SMBs better manage their security, including third-party software update functionality and secure servers. Making sure that sensitive information that has been erased stays erased and out of the wrong hands, Avast Business Pro also offers permanent file deletion capabilities that render unwanted data irretrievable.
Available in Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus is SecureLine VPN, a feature that encrypts all communications and anonymizes browsing activities, and supports all types of networks. The solution also includes a secure Password Manager feature that makes it easier for users to manage and secure their online passwords and accounts.
There are also solutions in store for Avast's managed service provider (MSPs) partners.
"CloudCare [is a] managed protection solution that makes it significantly faster and easier for service providers to monitor threats, resolve issues, and deliver multiple layers of protection to their customers," blogged Kevin Chapman, senior vice president and general manager of Avast's SMB division. "Managed Workplace [is a] full-stack, remote monitoring and management platform with its own native security engine that allows MSPs to quickly assess, secure, and monitor their SMB customers."
Channel partners can also visit Avast's new partner portal to explore the unified Avast-AVG partner program.
Avast Business Antivirus is available now. Prices start at $39.99 per seat.