Is There Such a Thing as Free Antivirus for Businesses?

Free Antivirus Isn't Really Free

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Everybody loves free things. From samples at the grocery store to t-shirts at conferences, it’s hard to resist a freebie. When it comes to antivirus options, there seem to be countless offers for free solutions. However, when it comes to organizational security, is there truly such a thing as a free antivirus solution?

Permissions and Limited Use

While many solutions may appear free at first glance, the fine print is critical to read for organizational use of these resources. Antivirus solutions may be free for personal use, but commercial use typically comes at a cost. Utilizing these kinds of free solutions within an organization may result in hefty fines.

In other cases, there may be a free version of a solution, with a premium version that comes at a price. The free version of the solution will not have all the features which may be critical for organizations, who are more at risk for malware attacks, since they are part of a network of computers, servers, and cloud platforms in a way that personal computers are not.

When it comes to server-level antivirus solutions, there are fewer options. There are enterprise solutions that an organization can trial and purchase. There are also open-source solutions, which are comprised of source code that is made available for users to adopt and modify as they wish. While these don’t have a purchase price, it is difficult to classify these solutions as free.

Defining Cost

It can take a great deal of time and energy from your IT Team to package open source solutions to suit your specific organization. Additionally, there is no dedicated external support team for open source solutions, and documentation is often scattered, meaning that troubleshooting and administration efforts will also cost more time and resources.

On the other hand, enterprise solutions are typically straightforward in what they cost: they come in a variety of price points and plans to support different needs and come with full support throughout the installation and set-up process. Cost also includes access to additional resources like documentation or customer assistance portals.

Finally, effectiveness is another critical cost consideration. Companies creating enterprise solutions can invest in testing by independent labs to verify effectiveness and learn how to improve their results. As a result, enterprise solutions like Powertech Antivirus have had detection rates over 50 percent higher than open source solutions. Such testing may not be possible for open source solutions.

The Priciest Option

In the end, the most expensive choice when it comes to antivirus solutions is to not do anything at all. According to the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million dollars. The single click of a button can trigger an attack that will take years from which to recover. This is to say nothing of the damage done to an organization’s reputation and loss of customer trust that such an incident can cause. Leaving your organization wide open to such an attack is not worth any short-term savings in time, resources, or money.


Want to learn more about insulating your business against attacks?

Learn how enterprise, server-level solutions like Powertech Antivirus stack up against open source solutions in our comparison guide.