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Best Free Security Software to Use In 2021

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By: Nihad Hassan

April 26, 2021

In today's digital age, people are utilizing technology in all aspects of life. In work, study, socializing, entertainment, in addition to online banking and shopping, technology has become an integral part of our life. The rapid advancement of the internet and communication technologies means most people utilize at least one computing device. For example, according to Statista, the number of smartphone users worldwide surpasses three billion and is forecasted to increase by several hundred million in the coming few years.

Whenever a user connects to the internet, he/she is connected to a network with billions of other users. In such a broad public environment, we cannot trust anyone. Unfortunately, similar to the real world, the internet is full of criminals from all types and places aiming to harm IT systems or steal sensitive information for commercial gain.

Cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated and are increasing rapidly. According to Risk Based Security, the total number of records compromised in 2020 exceeded 37 billion. On the other hand, Cyber Security Ventures projected the global cost of cybercrime annually would reach $10.05 trillion by 2025.

It is essential to install security software to keep your operating system and sensitive files away from hackers and other cybercriminals. This article will discuss the top free security solutions that any user or organization can leverage to protect endpoint devices and home/office networks. It is good to mention why organizations must use advanced security solutions to protect their sensitive data and IT systems from malicious actors.

Why should businesses use security programs?

Protect against ransomware attacks

Ransomware is among the most significant threats that organizations face today. Unfortunately, ransomware does not announce its presence until it finishes encrypting infected system files.

Before using a security solution, it is essential to check its capabilities and make sure it can detect and prevent ransomware. Most of these solutions are commercial.

Protect sensitive business data

Enterprises computing devices such as servers, endpoints, and mobile devices contain a trove of sensitive data. Without robust security programs such as antivirus, firewalls, and IDS, hackers can compromise this data and sell it to competitors or leverage it for their financial gain.

Increase customer's trust and boost sales

Cybercriminals utilize viruses and other malware types to steal data or disrupt normal business operations; however, the real damage is done to business brand and reputation. The majority of customers will lose trust in a business after a data breach. A report published by Centrify found that 65 percent of data breach victims lost confidence in an organization due to the breach.

On the other hand, customers are more willing to deal with a company that protects their data. They will feel comfortable purchasing products and services from highly secured enterprises.

Now that we have looked at the importance of leveraging security solutions to protect an organization's digital assets, it's time to mention the top five free security solutions that both individuals and organizations can utilize to protect their computing devices.

Best security suites

Comodo firewall

Comodo offers a free version of its popular firewall solution. It comes equipped with the following key features:

  1. User-friendly interface.
  2. It does not require complex configuration settings, making it ideal for non-tech savvy users.
  3. Learn from user behaviors and adopt its protection settings accordingly.
  4. Monitor all inbound and outbound traffic, allowing a user to select the programs or services that can connect to the internet independently.
  5. Leverage preventative technology as it can scan to find viruses and other malware types.

TotalAV Antivirus

TotaAV is a free antivirus packed with all the essential features to find & remove malware; it is cloud-based making it lightweight on end-user devices. It comes equipped with the following features:

  1. Works on different operating systems (Linux, Mac, and Windows), including mobile devices such as Android and iPhone/iPad.
  2. It comes equipped with anti-ransomware to protect against the increasing threat of ransomware attacks.
  3. Protect against phishing and spoofed websites.
  4. Give remote access to firewall settings so that a user can change the integrated firewall settings remotely.
  5. Has anti-spyware and anti-adware capability.

Malwarebytes Malwarebytes is a popular anti-malware solution for servers and endpoint devices. The tool is commercial. However, there is a free version that can use with minimal features.

Malwarebytes has many features. The following are the main ones:

  1. Detects and neutralizes malware and other advanced threats.
  2. Real-time protection.
  3. Protect vulnerable systems and applications from various exploit attacks.
  4. Block malicious websites.
  5. Detect and prevent ransomware attacks.

AlienVault OSSIM

AlienVault is an Open Source Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). It comes with the following key features:

  1. Asset discovery
  2. Vulnerability assessment
  3. Intrusion detection
  4. Behavioural monitoring
  5. SIEM event correlation and log management
  6. AWS & AZURE cloud monitoring
  7. Integration with third-party ticketing software (Jira, ServiceNow)
  8. Powered by the Open Threat Exchange

There is a commercial version of the OSSIM that comes with richer features. However, the free version contains all the necessary functions used by most commercial SIEM solutions.

Samhain Samhain is a host-based intrusion detection system (HIDS) that offers a variety of security features such as:

  1. File integrity checking.
  2. Logfile monitoring.
  3. Rootkit detection.
  4. Port monitoring.
  5. Detection of rogue executable and hidden processes.
  6. Can monitor multiple hosts with different operating systems, although it can be installed as a standalone application on a single host.
  7. Runs on different operating systems, such as Unix, Linux, Cygwin/Windows.

Samhain comes with a web-based management console.

Summary

Security solutions help an organization to protect its sensitive data and retain good relations with its customers. Cyberattacks are rapidly increasing every day. Without the proper security defenses – mainly constructed from security products- customers will lose trust in an organization, leading to a loss in business revenue.

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