5 Best Antivirus for Linux

Antivirus software is the requirement of today’s IT Infrastructure. Linux is mostly used by the developers for individual use and used by the system administrator team for corporate IT server setups.

Before I proceed on choosing the best antivirus tool for Linux, it needs to be evaluated what type of server is built on Linux, what type of usage, and so on. In addition to this, what is licensing structure, pricing, and features each tool provides are equally important before making the right choice. 

Antivirus Tools for Linux

  • ESET (Personal Use)
  • Avast (File server)
  • Bitdefender (Small Business)
  • McAfee (Enterprise)
  • Kaspersky (Medium Scale Businesses)

ESET (Personal Use)

For Linux desktops, antivirus software is hard to find. ESET is the one that is only used for desktops. It comes for all three (Windows, Mac and Linux) platforms. Licensing cost is no different for platforms.

In case the user wants to switch from Linux to Windows, the same antivirus license can be used at no extra cost.

ESET node32 antivirus

ESET NOD32 – Pros and Cons

Linux desktops are less vulnerable than Windows machines. The antivirus tool is easy to use and provides the below features.

  • Linux operations as CLI based. This tool comes with a Graphical UI that is easy to use.
  • Periodic updates of malware database is one of the features that is useful for system protection
  • Quick and easy installation of the tool on Linux desktop
  • Affordable pricing and transferable licence

Some limitations include:

  • It comes for desktops ONLY. Server support is not available.
  • Offers limited features compared to Mac and Windows
  • Offers upto 10 devices subscription
  • Absence of Firewall

Avast (File Servers)

File Servers are prone to spread viruses across enterprise or office networks. Linux-based file servers can be protected by the Avast Security tool. Malware protection is the need for secured data.

Avast comes with the package of file server security, network security, and core security. Combining all of these makes the tool perfect for small, medium-scale IT setups.

Avast advance antivirus

Avast – Pros and Cons

If your organization’s IT setup is centralized and maintained by an IT Ops team, Avast is used to manage security from all aspects. 

The features are useful such as:

  • File Servers are best protected using this tool
  • Periodic updates pushed automatically
  • Centralized maintenance by IT Admins
  • Malware detection at early stage

We do not call limitations of Avast, but certain points to think of before making a choice

  • Consumes CPU disk usage
  • No real-time protection
  • Expensive in term of pricing than other tools
  • Firewall protection for selected plans
  • Inability to detect behavior based threats

Bitdefender (Small Business)

Bitdefender’s GravityZone product provides small businesses IT security from malware threats and firewall protection. Most importantly, at affordable prices.

The tool offers vulnerability assessment features by running a report of misconfiguration or issues that each computer within the network has. Proactively, the tool offers protection before any damage to network/computers occurs.

bitdefender antivirus

The features offering by Bitdefender are:

  • It uses machine learning detection for infected processes
  • Scalable solution 
  • Works across platforms (Linux and Windows)
  • Economic pricing for small business

Some of the cons that can be taken into consideration:

  • Does not support firewall protection for Linux
  • No Graphical User Interface available
  • Some malware attacks are not detected by the tool
  • Linux version has limited capabilities

McAfee (Enterprise)

VirusScan Enterprise for Linux is a great tool for larger companies where they have to maintain thousands of computers located under the enterprise network. The solution is easily deployable on each machine.

The tool has capabilities to detect malicious activities on Linux systems and kill them to protect the data and systems. It uses machine learning algorithms for detecting threats.

McAfee enterprise antivirus

McAfee VirusScan Linux is useful for large companies with the following advantages:

  • Firewall security available for networks that are hybrid in nature
  • Scans are done on-access and real time
  • Support for thousands of computers with custom pricing
  • Machine Learning techniques are used for threat detection

Looking at the limitations of the tool, you can make a choice of the antivirus solution:

  • For Linux, no Graphical User Interface is available
  • Supports only 64-bit Linux platforms
  • Expensive for Individual and Small businesses 
  • For on-access scans support, kernel modules are required to be installed on Linux machines

Kaspersky (Medium Scale Businesses)

Business computer networks usually comprise all platforms. Servers are built on Linux, where development machines are Windows or Mac or Linux.

When it comes to antivirus solutions, it should support hybrid networks. Kaspersky is a security solution that supports hundreds of machines in a network. It provides an easy to deploy the solution to the IT Operations team.

Its anti-cryptor is a powerful feature to detect ransomware. Absolutely No compromise on security.

Kaspersky (Medium Scale Businesses)

Kaspersky’s advantages for Linux Antivirus solution are as follows:

  • Provides Graphical User Interface to visualize the scans
  • Affordable pricing for multi-computer network
  • Ransomware protector by Anti-Cryptor

Kaspersky is not for individuals or small businesses. But, overall we cannot say it has limitations. It works the best for hybrid networks.

Choose the best antivirus for Linux

Making a choice of the best antivirus for Linux is completed based on your requirements. As an Individual, you may go for ESET NOD32. It does not require taking care of the network.

A stand-alone Linux system can be easily protected with this tool. For small businesses, McAfee, Avast and Bitdefender are the ones to go for. Kaspersky is best for large businesses running with hybrid networks. 

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