Cybersecurity solutions company Avast Business is a key supporter of our British Business Awards, taking place on 13 October 2022.
In this exclusive interview, Small Business sits down with sales director James Lee to find out more about Avast’s mission, trends to look out for in the market in 2023 and beyond and why they’re proud to champion the best of British business.
Tell us a bit about what Avast Business does?
Avast Business’ mission is simple. We are focused on providing small businesses with the controls to give them the fastest and simplest way to secure themselves on the planet.
How does your product benefit the small business market specifically?
Many small businesses don’t have the skills, or the time, to navigate complex security controls. Avast’s small business solutions focus on delivering market leading and award-winning threat protection in a format that’s easy to maintain and support. No IT skills are required. Protection can be set up in minutes, allowing small businesses to focus on where they should be focused, accelerating their growth.
Remote and hybrid working has clearly changed the way small businesses will operate forever. But how has it impacted security threats? What can small businesses do to be more prepared?
Historically we used to say the office door was the network perimeter. No-one was online until they got into an office and fired up their PC at 8.59 in the morning. Now we’re all online 24×7. We are now the network perimeter. That’s really challenging for security professionals. How can they deliver effective security control into a network perimeter that could be anywhere?
So increasingly it’s all about visibility. You need to know who is on the network, wherever the network is, on what device, and what applications those users are running. Why? because you can’t defend against what you can’t see.
Ransomware is also said to be one of the biggest threats to small businesses, but what does that mean in layman terms? What are the biggest things business owners should look out for?
Business owners should focus on where ransomware attacks are coming from and ensure they have protection against those threat vectors. Typically, most successful ransomware attacks come through phishing emails/ social engineering or exploitation of vulnerabilities in software applications.
These threat vectors can be significantly reduced by firstly educating employees on how to spot suspicious emails and secondly by ensuring applications are patched in a timely manner.
The economic climate is very tough for businesses right now, by why is investing in security so crucial still?
Security needs to be thought of less as a cost overhead and more as a business enabler. Effective security controls become the gateway for organisations to expand, mobilise and digitise.
What do you see as the key trends for businesses to look out for in 2023 and beyond?
We’re going to see an evolution of what we’re already seeing. The threat actors are going to get more sophisticated, more resourceful, and more agile. We must continue to increase our vigilance. Security user training will become increasingly important. The complexity of security controls isn’t going to go away any time soon but it’s great to see vendors focused on driving innovation that makes our lives easier.
Passwordless authentication is a great example of this. Passwords are a strength and a weakness at the same time. The simpler we can make security controls, the better the chance that small businesses can get control over their security.
Avast Business is supporting our British Business Awards this year. What made you want to get involved?
Avast focuses on helping small and growing businesses stay safe online and we look to educate this group whenever and wherever we can. We have been working with smallbusiness.co.uk for a little while now and the Business Awards is a great opportunity to meet these audience members on a more personal level.
If you could give one piece of essential advice to business owners, what would it be?
Focus on the basics! Educate your teams on why they shouldn’t be clicking on anything that either looks suspicious or is too good to be true. If it’s too good to be true (whether that’s an email, or an invite to connect on LinkedIn) it will be too good to be true. And patch your apps!!
Avast Business offers simple, affordable, and powerful cybersecurity for your growing small business.
Avast is a proud sponsor of the British Business Awards 2022, the biggest award scheme recognising and celebrating the outstanding achievements of British small and medium-sized businesses.