Internet Security Suites- The shield against cyber crime

Today, the Internet is fully engaged with the talk of viruses, worms, spyware, cyber crime, malware, spam etc. This is because, as much as the physical world in which we live, the types of people who exist on the internet are also diverse, from scientists to business professionals to children to criminals. Similarly, as with the physical world, the places we visit on the web can vary from wild and wacky to academic to detestable. Therefore, caution has to be taken while we deal with people and visit places on the internet. It is essential that we do not trust people whom we don’t know on the internet. Similarly, we should exercise caution when visiting unfamiliar websites or sites with which we have no prior relationship. The threat landscape has become more dynamic with thousands of malware being created everyday. You can forget all these fears by installing a licensed internet security suite.

 A computer system without an internet security is like a house without a house guard, where anyone can walk in and walk out anytime with all your valuables. An Internet security suite works as a filter and does not allow any of the data whether confidential or not to be stolen from your system.

Today, most of the systems have ordinary antivirus software installed in it but the users are not aware that these softwares cannot provide the adequate protection and they happily go on the internet. The kind of complete protection that networks require today, can only be provided by an internet security suite.

An Internet security suite ensures that the PC is not mistaken for a playground for viruses and worms. It is a combined suite of antivirus software and a firewall system that can handle spam, filer Ads and other suspicious contents and sometimes there are even other additional features which make it easy to differentiate between the suites. A typical suite should have features such as antivirus, anti-spam, anti phishing, anti-spyware, a personal firewall, parental control, privacy control or protection, identity theft protection, anti-rootkits, e-mail safety, data theft prevention, data backup and transfer, pop up filters and automatic updates.

Importance of antivirus suite protection

Almost all companies depend on computers and internet for business transactions. But all this requires security, as hackers have innovative techniques to break into the company’s computer network. Another issue is while sending emails, i.e., all information send over the internet passes through intermediary computers before reaching the destination. This is out of our control as any malicious computer savvy individual operating an intermediary computer has the ability to tamper with the information and there are many ways to deceive the sender. For example, an intermediary computer could exchange information with the intended destination and thus inducing to reveal private data such as passwords, contact details of partners, credit card details etc. Even a firm using intranet is under the threat if one system in it is connected to the internet. All these issues can be handled using an internet security suite. And, therefore the need for an antivirus suite protection is endless and the following are some of the reasons to have an internet security suite:-

Protects confidential information Prevents hacker access Reinforced protection against theft of important data Virus and spyware free Blocks spam Protects children on internet Prevents the loss of important files Keeps the computer running at maximum efficiency Allows periodic exhaustive scanning

Internet security suite providers

Today, there are more than 15 internet security suite providers with different packages and software to suit the specific needs of a company. All suites have antivirus and firewall components, and there are other additional features which builds the difference between the suites. Some of the famous internet security suites are Kaspersky, GDATA, Norton 360, McAfee, AVG, eScan, FSecure, Panda, ESET etc. It is important to know the major features other than antivirus and firewall provided by these suites.

Norton 360

It provides a free downloadable parental control addon that gives control to every user account and over the kind of content allowed. It delays the startup of suspicious applications during bootup. Data backup features which lets users move data to a different drive, network share and even to an online service so that it ensures no data is lost if the PC gets infected or even during a system crash

It recommends the installation to be downloaded from internet. The suite scans the system before the installation to make sure that the system is not already infected. It has the ability to delete files to prevent recovery. This feature is similar to the file shredder of GDATA. Also supports data backup feature as in Norton 360.

GDATA

It has a free downloadable parental control addon that gives control to every user account and over the kind of content allowed. Also includes a file shredder to delete files and make them unrecoverable.

McAfee’s internet security’s installer

It recommends the installation to be downloaded from internet. The suite scans the system before the installation to make sure that the system is not already infected. It has the ability to delete files to prevent recovery. This feature is similar to the file shredder of GDATA. Also supports data backup feature as in Norton 360.

FSecure Internet Security 2009

Focuses on parental control and the access to the main control panel is denied unless authorized.

AVG

Ability to allow access of games to the internet through the firewall without any hassels. It also allows updating of downloaded virus definition by importing them from a folder.

eScan internet security

This is one of the best antivirus suites. The major implementation of Kaspersky is an onscreen keyboard which allows users to type in passwords on online banking and shopping sites without having the password logged.

It scans the system regularly for vulnerabilities asking to patch bugs.

Here the alerts are also displayed in a single window.

Kaspersky

 

This is one of the best antivirus suites. The major implementation of Kaspersky is an onscreen keyboard which allows users to type in passwords on online banking and shopping sites without having the password logged.It also scans the system regularly for vulnerabilities asking to patch bugs. The alerts are also displayed in a single window.

 

ESET Smart security

It supports all the basic features but detailed customizations and controls are available.

Panda Internet security 2009

Major advantage is that it monitors wireless networks. When a new PC appears on the network, it gives an alert asking whether it has to be granted access. This is the only internet security which supports the feature truprevent completely. It allows the creation of rescue disks and uploads suspicious files to their database for inspection.

From all the above to summarize, the best Internet Security suites should have the following features:

Anti-virus Detects and removes viruses and threats from emails, instant messaging, downloads etc. Anti-spam Prevents spam emails from reaching the inbox. Anti-phishing Filters phishing emails and protects from accessing websites run by phishers. Gives warning on suspicious emails and unsafe sites Anti-spyware Blocks and removes spyware, adware Protects against keyloggers, browser hijackers and other threats Anti-rootkits Searches underneath the operating system for a program that takes control of the computer without authorization. Firewall Blocks unauthorized access while permitting authorized communications. Provides protection from intrusions and data leaks Parental control Provides real time content filtering from inappropriate websites and emails. Identity theft protection Secures personal data while buying, banking and browsing online Alerts when details are about to move out of your PC and helps to stop it if desired Data theft protection Protects personal and private information from being captured Pop-up filter Blocks pop-up ads Truprevent Rapidly blocks attack caused by unknown viruses and intruders, even before the antivirus has been updated to combat them. Additional protection against network viruses Total Scan Permits periodic in-depth scanning to detect and eliminate threats missed by antivirus programs installed on systems. Data back-up and transfer Allows to run scheduled or on-demand backups of the PC to protect it from unforeseen incidents Auto updates Ensures that the system is protected against latest threats.

The antivirus suites Kaspersky and McAfee are known to be the best antivirus suites and below are their feature summarization:

Feature                                    Kaspersky                                 McAfee

Anti-virus                                Exists                                         Exists

Anti-spam                               Exists                                         Exists

Anti-phishing                          Exists                                         Exists

Anti-spyware                         Exists                                         Exists

Anti-rootkits                          Exists                                          Exists

Firewall                                 Exists                                          Exists

Parental control                    Exists                                          Exists

Identify threft protection     Exists                                          Exists

Data threft protection          Exists                                          Exists

Pop-up filter                         Exists                        Exists but poor performance

Truprevent                      Does not exist                Exists but poor performance

Total scan                            Exists                                          Exists

Data back-up and transfer  Exists                                         Exists

Auto updates                        Exists                                         Exists

The latest version of McAfee also supports additional features such as remote monitoring, printer sharing tasks, configuration of other personal computers and gives frequent alerts for intruders on the system.

The last version of Kaspersky includes features like isolation of infected workstations, avoids the unwanted rescanning of files in the system and launches multiple copies of the antivirus engine.

Therefore, through an efficient internet security suite one can ensure that business continues without any disruption and need not fear of any cyber miscreants. But, just buying and installing it is not sufficient, it has to be regularly updated and the system must be scanned regularly. 

 

 

 

References:

Network security by James Joshi

ISP survival guide by Geoff Huston

Internet-The Complete reference by Margaret Levine Young

Publication: Digit- Volume-9

 

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