Reliable Windows Security: 10 Companies That Get It

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Reliable Windows Security: 10 Companies That Get It

by Don Reisinger

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Symantec has long been synonymous with security. The firm, which puts out Norton security products, is widely considered one of the best in the business at protecting both consumers and enterprise PCs. That said, Symantec had a tumultuous few years in the Windows Vista days when other, smaller companies did a better job with Windows security. In the couple years since, the company has dramatically reversed its fortunes with the Norton Internet Security Suite, which is widely regarded one of the top software packages on the market.

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McAfee has always been the second-place security firm behind Symantec in the consumer market. But that doesn't mean that the company isn't doing a fine job with Windows security. The firm's SAAS Endpoint protection and firewall technologies are highly regarded in the corporate space. Even its Total Protection package is considered a worthwhile investment for consumers. All in all, McAfee is handing Windows security relatively well.

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VMware might not be first to come to mind when discussing security, but the company's Business Continuity solutions are ideal for those enterprise customers that are deeply concerned with losing data. VMware vSphere, for example, handles virtualization for data centers around the world. It might not stop viruses or spyware from affecting Windows machines, but it keeps data safe. And that's a key component in Windows security.

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Trend Micro

Trend Micro doesn't always get the attention that some of the larger security firms do, but the company does a fine job of offering Windows security. It offers solutions for both consumers and enterprise customers, but it's arguably best known for its business products, like the company's e-mail security platform, which ensures malicious content isn't being downloaded to an employee's computer. The company also has a product for IT managers that want to remotely control their companies' security settings.

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Panda Security

Panda Security is one of the lesser-known security providers in this slideshow, but the company has a fine slate of home-use tools designed for Windows. In fact, the firm's Internet Security platform is widely regarded as one of the industry's finest Web-security services. Over the past few years, Panda has been delivering better and better products. The company still has a long way to go to match some of the larger firms, but it has some potential. And it should be interesting to see if it can improve upon past success going forward.

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Kaspersky Labs

With Windows 7 enjoying more and more success, Kaspersky Labs is finding a larger market to capitalize on. The company, which also provides security software for Mac OS X users, is mostly focused on securing home-use computers. In fact, the company's Internet Security 2010 is arguably its top product. That said, Kaspersky also handles some enterprise needs with a few security suites designed for companies. Kaspersky isn't necessarily the top security firm in the Windows space, but it delivers a viable product for those that don't want to stick with the big firms.

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It might seem odd to include Microsoft in a roundup of firms that really "get" Windows security, but over the past few years, the company has started to come around. When Vista was first released, Windows security was abysmal. But thanks to vast improvements made to Vista service packs, and a clear focus on security in Windows 7, the software firm is doing a much better job of securing its operating system. That doesn't mean that there isn't work to be done, but at least Microsoft is starting to take security more seriously nowadays.

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If this were a slideshow detailing the top security suites, Webroot wouldn't be included. But given the fact that this slideshow examines companies that fully understand Windows security, Webroot must make the list. The company's anti-spyware software, Spy Sweeper, is widely regarded as one of the top security programs in the world. It does a fine job of capturing all kinds of spyware, and for most home users, it should be one of several security programs they should be employing each week. Webroot has been able to target Windows spyware unlike almost any other company in the market.

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Mozilla's Firefox is arguably the most secure browser on the market. Unlike Internet Explorer, which suffers from far too many issues, Mozilla has continued to refine Firefox to make it a more secure alternative to other browsers. In the process, it has ensured that those who use Firefox will maintain far better Windows security than those who opt for Internet Explorer. It's important to remember that in the Windows space, security means more than just anti-spyware. The key measure of any solid security program is the ability to keep bad things out. And Firefox does that.

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Like Mozilla, Google might not be an obvious choice for a company that understands Windows security, but the search giant is actually one of the market's leaders. By analyzing the issues that plague Windows PCs, Google has built several safeguards into its search platform to keep users away from malicious sites that could wreak havoc on their machine. Like Mozilla, Google is simply doing its part to keep users away from the bad stuff. But the company has also examined Windows security and built several security features into its upcoming Chrome OS to address problems consumers are seeing with Microsoft's operating system. If that doesn't smack of a company that gets Windows security, nothing does.

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