The internet can be a dangerous place to navigate without the proper antivirus software, or know-how. There are many threats on the internet and users who are not prepared could have a lot of problems. This is particularly true for students, especially in secondary schools, who may not know what dangers lurk on the internet or how to look after themselves properly.
As a school, the threats don’t just affect what you are browsing, but it could affect the schools infrastructure and equipment. Viruses and malware can affect infrastructure and equipment so much that it can become unusable.
In May, 2017; a huge attack on the NHS cost the health service £92m. According to a report by the National Audit Office this was a relatively unsophisticated attack and, with basic IT security best practice, could have been avoided.
This hack spread to more than 150 countries in less than a day and demanded a ransom to be paid in crypto-currency worth $300 for a key to unlock the drive. More than £100,000 was paid to the hackers.
Because of this, all computers need protection. The most important, yet basic, protection that you can give a computer is a good antivirus software package. It is especially important for schools as they are responsible for so much data and so many computers. Threats don’t just affect the school computers; they can affect staff and student and home computers too and the computers of everyone they send data or emails to.
What antivirus software is out there?
In alphabetical order, we have compiled a list of popular antivirus software. These are by no means the only antivirus software providers out there, but do represent a cross-section. All have pros and cons which will differ dependent on cost and function. We don’t personally endorse any of them and strongly advise you visit each company’s website and contact them if you are interested in their products.
Reportedly one of the best antivirus software providers in the world. This can detect and remove virtually any malware, keeping your classroom computers safe. For the last 5 years it has had the best malware detection rate in the cyber-security industry.
It uses artificial intelligence (AI) backed algorithms and other technologies to detect, remove and prevent threats without affecting computer performance.
The company offers a good discount to educational establishments – all you have to do is to go on their website and contact them. The discount can range from 50% – 80% dependent on the amount of devices that you would run it on.
This piece of software works well on all 32bit and 64bit platforms, has a fantastic behaviour blocker, hourly updates and some great website blocking features. All of this is packed in with a dual-engine scanner that will monitor what students download, modify or upload onto their computers.
The price is a real focus here. It is actually one of the cheaper pieces of software and, if you contact them, they will set up a deal for multiple licenses or devices. Emsisoft is a company in New Zealand and their antivirus software protects devices all over the world. The company is currently a Microsoft Partner and top rated in 2016 by AV comparatives.
ESET is one of the better known antivirus software solutions in industry. They have a great history of performance and each edition just gets better and better. ESET also offer great discounts and special services for schools and education environments in general.
This company is a good example of prevention instead of repairing. They have safeguarding features to put files under lock and key, extra computer performance tools that can be automated, and network management.
Microsoft Windows Defender
We thought we’d put this one in there. Though it is free, it has significantly improved over the last couple of years. Windows 10 devices can enjoy a very potent antivirus solution that is getting a lot of attention from Windows developers.
Obviously, free solutions have their limitations. However, it is incorporated into the operating system. It doesn’t have to be managed and will run without you noticing it. There is still a little concern because of its history; though this will probably improve over time.
SOPHOS is another solution promising to keep your entire network safe at a really good price. SOPHOS is a British security software and hardware company which develops products for communication, encryption and network, email and mobile security.
SOPHOS is available cross-platform and licenses are easily added should a school need to do so. Managing a large number of devices isn’t hard with SOPHOS and, like the others companies above, the company offers competitive prices for schools and other educational establishments.
Which one to choose?
As every school has different circumstances, it is entirely up to you to which antivirus software you go for. We have compiled this short list to start you on your research. With careful evaluation of the antivirus software available out there, you can protect your school IT environment and possibly save yourself some money.
If you’re thinking of upgrading your IT system hardware and wan to add antivirus software to the package, we could help you. The educational equipment leasing team at Maxxia is expert in helping schools to obtain the latest and best IT systems but without tying up huge amounts of precious budget cash. Read here for more information, or talk to us to see how we can help your school.