When it comes to antivirus solutions, what's better nowadays? An on-premise managed antivirus you pay for once (per computer) with yearly renewals? Or a cloud-based antivirus for which you pay a monthly subscription fee?
Both receive regular updates to protect against new viruses & malware. Many cybsecurity vendors have both an on-premise and a cloud version of their solutions. Each option has its own pros & cons, and can make sense depending on your environment.
Let's review these pros & cons. (Please note, they are limited to business-grade antivirus only.)
On-Premise Antivirus Pros:
- Lower cost, typically a single yearly payment
- Highly configurable
- Server-based management console
On-Premise Antivirus Cons:
- Large file sizes taking up space on your hard drive
- May need manual updating (tech labor)
- Less control over users introducing malware via USB drive or email attachments
- No/minimal monitoring capability
- Need an on-premise server to manage a corporate deployment
Cloud Antivirus Pros:
- Comes with additional protections (e.g. phishing alerts, hardening)
- Automatic updates, making security more reliable
- Agent-based install (a small background app)
- Runs invisibly
- Manage hundreds of computers' antivirus from one Web-based console
- Shorter interval between new malware discoveries and AV updates on your computer
Cloud Antivirus Cons:
- Higher cost, typically a monthly subscription payment
- Can interfere with other cloud-based services (unless both are configured properly)
From our perspective, cloud-based antivirus wins over on-premise. The update schedule alone means better up-to-the-minute protection for each & every device. Also, with many companies moving to the Cloud, there aren't enough internal resources to manage an on-premise security application effectively.
Two examples of cloud antivirus (as part of a larger security suite):
Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection (Cloud Service)
BitDefender Business Security
Need a cloud-based AV solution setup for your workstations? Please email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help!