As mentioned earlier, Microsoft Defender is a great starter antivirus given that it’s reasonably comprehensive, pre-installed, and free. But it doesn’t make the cut when it comes to protecting your business’s IT security from sophisticated cyber threats. 

There are solid alternatives that you can use instead of Microsoft Defender, such as: 

Sophos Intercept X

Sophos has been in the IT security business since the 80s, and the sophistication of their products is a good show of their veteran status. 

Its Intercept X platform utilizes endpoint detection/response (EDR) and deep learning AI to deliver an outstanding IT security service. 

If your business has an IT team responsible for protecting multiple endpoints, this product is definitely for you as it’s capable of defending hundreds and even thousands of them simultaneously. 

It isn’t OS-specific, so it’ll work regardless of whether you use a fleet of Macs or a fleet of PCs. It also functions on virtual machines and cloud-based infrastructures. Its protection even covers your mobile devices—and it has its Chrome extension. 

Some features of Intercept X’s Endpoint features include: 

Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW)

Traditional firewalls, which are becoming increasingly outdated, aren’t enough to protect your business against data theft. It’s for this reason that your business should opt for an excellent next-generation firewall like Sophos XG

These types of firewalls are unique for many reasons, including their ability to inspect at the application level, prevent intrusion from more sophisticated cyberthreats, and take advantage of valuable data from outside the firewall itself. 

NGFWs are a go-to device for SMBs, especially for those in office environments. 

Some features of Sophos XG include: 

Email Security Systems 

Email security depends as much upon your security solutions as it does your people. 

Standard email security that isn’t able to predict threats before they hit you isn’t going to keep your business safe in the long run, which is why you should invest in more modern email protection services like Proofpoint Email Security

Some features of this product include: 

A Holistic IT Security Strategy

Using any one of these tools will not give you the security level your business needs to stay safe in our modern digital age. 

However, when combined with solid business continuity and disaster recovery plans (BCDR) and with consistent IT security awareness training, your company will be more than ready to stop or respond to any threat that comes your way. 

When generating your BCDR plans, consider the various scenarios and levels of business disruption that may impact business operations. 

Each business will have its variables to keep in mind during this process, but keep at least these situations in mind: How will your company respond to a disruption that occurs on-premise? What about offsite? What about local, regional, or even national disruptions? 

When putting together your IT security awareness training, you’ll want to put into specific policy protocols that must be adhered to, such as who has access to specific critical files and who should be reported to in the event of a disruptive event. 

Awareness training should be conducted at least on an annual basis, and all new employees should be required to go through the training as part of their onboarding process.

Comprehensive Security = Protected Company

Although Microsoft Defender is insufficient for protecting your business’s IT security, it’s still a good baseline of any Windows device defense. But when it comes to defending your business’s critical data, you’re going to want to go with more than any single antivirus. It’s one thing to run a successful SMB; it’s another thing to adequately protect it from the vast number of cybercriminals who want to exploit it for their own gain. 

This is why it’s critical to have your own IT staff who work tirelessly to anticipate and deflect unwanted entities trying to breach your systems. However, not everyone can have a dedicated in-house IT team, so many rely instead on a managed service provider like Commprise. 

It often makes more sense to go with an MSP even when you have the capacity for in-house IT staff due to an MSP’s price efficiency, flexibility, and ability to scale with your company’s needs. 

If you’re interested in taking IT security’s weight off your company’s shoulders, consider our Managed Security Services.