SOPHOS Business-Grade Security for Your Home
The words “anti-virus,” “anti-malware,” and anti-whatever are entirely inadequate these days. Show me a software tool that only sniffs out viruses and I’ll show you an application that deserves the trivializing abbreviation “app.” Read on to learn how Sophos can secure your digital domain…
Does Your Home Computer Need Enterprise Protection?
Today, threats come at us from all directions and in all forms, often combining several “attack vectors” in one payload, or a payload whose first order of nefarious business on your hard drive is to download and install multiple other payloads.
The war of online good vs. evil has expanded, and our vocabulary must expand to describe the battle accurately. That is why I urge you to think in terms of “security suites” only from now on. Effective internet security requires a broad-spectrum arsenal, rather than one-trick-ponies.
The business world is accustomed to taking such a “multi-pronged” approach to network security. IT pros speak their own highly developed language when discussing security, but it is nothing that a layperson of ordinary intellect and genuine concern for security cannot master with a bit of effort. Even if you have just one Internet-connected device in your life, it is worthwhile to make that effort.
You may think you have it easy, with a PC that sits still on a desktop and has only one cable running between its modem and your ISP’s equipment somewhere outside. All you have to do is configure your router to watch that single in-and-out door carefully; right? But in reality, there are multiple other ways an attacker can get to your PC, starting from the chair in which you sit before it.
USB devices - from thumb drives to keyboards and mice to printers and point-and-shoot cameras and so on - all have been used to slip payloads right around a watchful router. External hard drives, connected TVs, game consoles, smart light bulbs, and ever more devices routinely touch your PC. Each such device can be a pathway for an invader.
So you see, your home computer can easily be as much a part of a complex business network as a workstation in a stock brokerage, and hackers’ weapons don’t make fine distinctions. They find chinks in the armor and get in. Once inside, these digital invaders make themselves at home, then settle down and wait for instructions… if they don’t go kamikaze right off the bat and start destroying everything they find. Some forms of malware report what they find back to hacker HQ; others operate silently, using your computer as a slave in distributed denial of service attacks.
That may be a long-winded way of saying, “You need business-grade security,” but I hope it drives the point home: you need business-grade security.
SOPHOS Home Security Software
The ancient Greek word sophos means "skilled" or "wise" and is used to describe someone with expertise in a specific domain of knowledge. SOPHOS is a UK-based business security consultancy whose signature security suite, Intercept X, is well-regarded among users and testers of security software. You can peruse the various firewall, endpoint security (desktop PCs), and other business-oriented materials on Sophos’ main site.
For home users, there’s Sophos Home. The same highly rated protections provided to corporate network “endpoints” are also available to home users in Sophos Home. To enumerate them all:
Real-time Antivirus: Classic signature-based detection and removal of known viruses, Trojan horses, worms, ransomware, botnet apps, and more.
Web protection from known malicious sites: Like signature-based antivirus, this feature focuses on defending against sites that have hijacked other users before.
Remote management: An unusual feature even in paid versions of American software. Even the free version of Sophos Home can be used to secure multiple devices wherever they are on the Internet - this is a permanent feature of the free version that does not expire after a 30-day trial.
Advanced Real-time protections: Also known as “heuristic,” “behavior-based,” and other terms that indicate it can spot and stop suspicious activity before an unauthorized program begins to erase, copy and transmit, or otherwise do something bad to or with your data. This feature expires after a free 30-day trial.
Advanced Ransomware Protection: A special case of the above, it stops ransomware before it can encrypt your hard drive. Also subject to 30-day expiration after free trial, although I don’t know how you’re supposed to schedule a ransomware infection during the trial period.
Banking Protection: Protects your banking and credit card information from being intercepted by third-parties and keylogger software. Expires after 3-day trial
Privacy Protection: Blocks attempts to use your webcam or record keystrokes. Expires after 30-day trial
Advanced Malware Removal: Gets rid of stubborn existing infections. Expires after 30-day trial, but who would need it more than once?
Parental Web filtering: Sophos’ implementation is easily understood and endlessly customizable.
Support: Via email and chat. Also expires after 30-day trial.
The annual cost of keeping all the advanced features after a free 30-day trial is $50.00 “SRP” or Suggested Retail Price. I imagine that price falls rapidly the more you say, “No, thanks” to its offer at the end of your trial period. (By the way, that trick often works in other places, both online and in the real world, when you're being asked to pay for something.)
Sophos seems to be a fine addition to anyone’s security suite arsenal. Just remember that running more than one security suite simultaneously can severely slow your computer and lead to crashes. Sophos does a great job during its installation of detecting such conflicts, even disabling Windows Defender for you.
I'll answer your first question about Sophos right here: No, I don't get a commission if you try or buy the Sophos Home software, and they did not ask me to write this review. It's my job to bring things like this to your attention. It's your choice to take it from there.
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 6 Apr 2018
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- SOPHOS Business-Grade Security for Your Home (Posted: 6 Apr 2018)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved