Best Antivirus Software for Linux
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Best Antivirus Software for Linux in 2021
Isn’t Linux Itself the Best Antivirus?
Are you looking for the best antivirus software for Linux in 2021? This overview of the best solutions currently available can help you find the right antivirus for your needs so that you can detect and neutralize all viruses that manage to find their way into your Linux machine, regardless of whether it’s a personal computer or public server.
You might have heard that the Linux operating system is the best antivirus out there since very few viruses and other types of malware target it.
To a large extend, that statement is true, and most users don’t need antivirus software if they’re using Linux as their main operating system, regardless of which distribution they use.
However, Linux is a highly versatile operating system that fits a number of different use cases—from home computing to running the world’s largest servers. Here are some situations when installing antivirus software on Linux makes sense:
You have a Linux server that receives and sends files to and from other devices, including Windows computers. By installing antivirus software on the server, you can protect not only the server itself but, most importantly, all of its users.
You’re a cybersecurity researcher, and analyzing malware in a securely enclosed environment is something you do on a daily basis. A reliable Linux antivirus software tool can act as an extra layer of protection if you encounter a particularly sophisticated strain of malware capable of escaping the enclosed testing environment.
You have two operating systems installed side-by-side on your computer in a dual-boot configuration, with one system being Linux and the other system being Windows. Antivirus software can give you extra peace of mind by preventing viruses and other malware from reaching the Windows partition.
You’re aware that the way you use your computer puts you at a greater risk of encountering Linux-specific malware, which does exist in many different forms, including traditional viruses and Trojan horses, worms, web scripts, rootkits, and buffer overruns.
You just want to rest assured, knowing your Linux computer is protected by more than just your common sense and the fact that it’s running an operating system that’s not an attractive target for malware-creators due to its lower popularity.
Your business or organization is required by law to implement certain cybersecurity controls for compliance purposes, and having antivirus software installed on all devices is one of them.
As you can see, there are many different reasons to use Linux antivirus software and real-world examples of situations where antivirus software would have made a huge difference.
For example, in 2017, South Korean web provider Nayana hosted was forced to pay a ransom worth $1.62 million to regain access to its server after they became infected with the Erabus ransomware, which targets Linux servers for attacks.
Since 2017, ransomware attacks have only become more common, and cybercriminals have come up with many other sophisticated cyber threats that are anything but easy to keep at bay. By making a Linux antivirus part of your cyber defenses, alongside an ad-blocker, firewall, and other pieces of the cybersecurity puzzle, you can avoid potentially expensive incidents.
Top Antivirus Software for Linux (Free & Paid)
Because cybercriminals don’t commonly target Linux computers, the number of available antivirus software solutions is quite low. Still, there are several great options that we can wholeheartedly recommend to home and business users alike.
ClamAV is the grandfather of Linux antivirus software. It’s developed by Cisco Systems as an open-source project, and it runs on all major operating systems.
Installing ClamAV is a matter of downloading the right package from your distribution’s repositories. You can also run ClamAV using Docker, build it from the source, or use the official universal installer.
At the core of ClamAV is a multi-threaded scanner daemon capable of detecting viruses, trojans, and other malicious software. Included with ClamAV is a set of command-line utilities for on-demand scanning and signature updates.
ClamAV is used mainly as a mail gateway scanner in the real world, but nothing is stopping you from using it for other purposes. The performance of ClamAV isn’t the best, which probably has something to do with the fact that it’s not developed by a company that focuses exclusively on cybersecurity.
If you decide to give ClamAV a try, then we highly recommend you check out ClamTk, a graphical front-end for ClamAV.
2. Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security
Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security is a comprehensive security solution designed to protect all workstations and servers against viruses, ransomware, and other malware.
The exhaustive list of supported operating systems includes Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or higher, Red Hat Enterprise Linux / CentOS 6.0 or higher, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP4 or higher, OpenSUSE Leap 42.x, Fedora 25 or higher, Debian 8.0 or higher, Oracle Linux 6.3 or higher, and Amazon Linux AMI 2016.09 or higher.
Besides malware prevention and mitigation, Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security also takes care of application behavior monitoring, endpoint risk management, and other key links in any cybersecurity chain.
3. Dr.Web Security Space (for Linux)
If you’re looking for a reliable Linux antivirus software application that won’t kill your budget, then the Linux version of Dr.Web Security Space is a solid choice.
While not as polished as some of its competitors, especially those aimed at enterprise customers, it does provide dependable protection for malware thanks to its high-speed scanning engine that won’t drain your system resources.
Included with the Linux version of Dr.Web Security Space is a website monitoring component whose purpose is to scan web pages and block access to those that seem to contain malware and other threats.
4. Avast Business Antivirus for Linux
Avast Business Antivirus for Linux is a pricy enterprise antivirus software solution aimed at businesses and organizations that depend on Linux servers and can’t afford to let malware infect them and potentially spread to other devices that connect to them, such as Windows workstations.
You can use Avast Business Antivirus for Linux on all major Linux distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian, and Ubuntu (both 32-bit and 64-bit systems are supported). To install this antivirus software, you need to add the Avast repository to the system repositories and get the desired packages from the repository.
Once installed, you can then start individual services included with Avast Business Antivirus for Linux, such as the real-time file scanner that scans files written to any of the monitored mount points, using convenient init scripts.
5. Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Linux
Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Linux is a powerful endpoint protection solution with support for virtually all major Linux distributions, including CentOS, Debian, Linux Mint, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, and others.
The solution provides multi-layered protection against a cornucopia of cyber threats. Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Linux is designed with performance in mind to deliver optimal security while impacting other applications as little as possible.
You can purchase Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Linux as a subscription service with flexible monthly licensing that ensures you always have access to the latest version.
6. Trend Micro ServerProtect for Linux
Trend Micro ServerProtect for Linux addresses the threat of malware spreading from a Linux server to Windows clients by providing real-time protection for enterprise web servers and file servers.
The management of Trend Micro ServerProtect for Linux is done from an intuitive web-based console. The console makes it easy to configure how the software operates, view event logs, monitor automatic component updates, and more.
Thanks to the option to adjust the software’s CPU utilization during the virus scan process, the performance impact of Trend Micro ServerProtect for Linux can be greatly reduced so that end-users are not affected by its activity.
7. McAfee VirusScan Enterprise for Linux
McAfee VirusScan Enterprise for Linux provides cross-platform protection to stop Windows malware from being transmitted through Linux servers and spreading uncontrollably from one device to the next one.
This enterprise-grade antivirus software blocks viruses and other threats by comparing file signatures against known threats and applying heuristic scanning to identify new malware variants before their signatures are known.
Because McAfee VirusScan Enterprise for Linux works even without kernel hooks, organizations that use it can quickly and easily deploy new kernels, avoiding costly downtime.
Bonus: Online Virus Scanners
If you consider yourself a regular Linux user, you almost certainly don’t need antivirus software running on your computer all the time. That said, the ability to check if a file is infected with malware is certainly useful, which is where online virus scanners come in.
Scanners like VirusTotal let you upload a suspicious file to verify if it contains malicious code. The most obvious downside is that you need an internet connection for online virus scanners to work. You may also be rightfully reluctant to submit your personal files for an online check, especially if they’re highly sensitive.
Three antivirus software solutions deserve to be mentioned even though they don’t deserve our recommendation anymore:
Sophos Anti-Virus for Linux : stable and reliable antivirus software capable of detecting and eradicating all kinds of malware from Linux machines. Unfortunately, it has been retired and will soon stop receiving updates.
: stable and reliable antivirus software capable of detecting and eradicating all kinds of malware from Linux machines. Unfortunately, it has been retired and will soon stop receiving updates. Comodo Antivirus for Linux (CAVL) : This antivirus software used to have many fans because of its set-and-forget nature. The problem is that it hasn’t been updated for some time. As a result, it still depends on a deprecated library (libsssl0.9.8), whose presence on your system is much worse than having no antivirus software installed.
: This antivirus software used to have many fans because of its set-and-forget nature. The problem is that it hasn’t been updated for some time. As a result, it still depends on a deprecated library (libsssl0.9.8), whose presence on your system is much worse than having no antivirus software installed. ESET NOD32 Antivirus for Linux Desktop: This antivirus software would be one of our top picks if it weren’t for the fact that its support will end in the third quarter of 2022. If that doesn’t bother you, you can use it without any limitations until then. Just make sure to switch to a different antivirus solution in time.
What other steps should I take to protect my Linux computer from viruses?
The most important thing is to use common sense when browsing the web, downloading stuff from the internet, reading email messages, and exploring interesting software. Always think before you click, and make sure to ask yourself if the desire to satisfy your curiosity is worth risking your security.
Does free Linux antivirus software exist?
Yes, there are several free antivirus software solutions available for Linux. The one you should know about is ClamAV, an open-source antivirus engine capable of detecting all kinds of digital nasties.
What is the best antivirus for Ubuntu?
All antivirus software solutions described in this article are compatible with Ubuntu and its derivatives. ClamAV is a solid choice that’s completely free and open-source, but its scanning performance leaves something desired. ESET NOD32 Antivirus for Linux offers solid performance, but its support is nearing its end. Business users should consider Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security, which offers comprehensive protection for both desktop computers and servers.
Do I really need to install an antivirus tool on Linux?
That depends entirely on how you use your Linux machine. If you use it for basic office and multimedia tasks, then you can most certainly omit antivirus software. But if we’re talking about a server that’s used to handle files belonging to Windows users, then antivirus software is guaranteed to come in handy.
Is Linux antivirus software as good as Windows antivirus software?
Linux antivirus software solutions from leading computer security software companies typically use the same threat detection components as their Windows counterparts, making them equally capable of detecting and neutralizing viruses and other threats.
It’s true that the risk of experiencing a virus infection is very low for Linux users, but it does exist, and real-world examples of home users and businesses suffering its consequences are not difficult to find. The best Linux antivirus software solutions listed in this article can provide a useful extra layer of protection against viruses and other kinds of malware, making them well worth exploring.
Best Free Firewall Software for (Windows, Mac, and Linux)
Unsurprisingly, many different products are available for antivirus, endpoint protection, and other cybersecurity protection. After all, many threats lurk in cyberspace, each with its way of truly messing up your network, data, hardware, online identity, etc.
That's why we're looking at network firewall software today. A network firewall acts as your first line of defense against intrusion. We'll cover protection for different operating systems, such as a Windows firewall, a macOS firewall, or a Linux firewall. Also, we'll show you where to find an excellent small business firewall or even free firewalls! But first, what is firewall software, anyway?
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What Is Firewall Software? A firewall is defined as a network security system comprised of either software or firmware that inspects inbound and outbound on your system based on established parameters and rules to prevent unauthorized access to your network. Imagine firewall software as a barrier or obstacle that closes off your IT assets from the outside world. The term "firewall" was first used to describe a wall in a building that prevents fires from spreading. These walls are typically composed of fire-resistant materials. So you can see why IT adopted the term for cybersecurity purposes! Many organizations and private consumers employ firewalls. Many devices come with a firewall already built-in and are available for popular operating systems such as macOS, Windows, and Linux. Firewalls are widely considered a vital part of network security. Companies that produce firewalls typically release updates and upgrades to keep up with the latest threats and new OS releases. So, if you already have a firewall for Windows 10, you can likely find a patch or upgrade if you go to Windows 11. Before we get to the heavy-duty firewall offerings, let’s check out a trio of free firewall software offerings for each popular operating system: Windows, macOS, and Linux.
The Best Free Firewall Software for Windows Here are three of the best open-source firewall software for Windows: Peerblock Peerblock blocks incoming and outgoing IP addresses that have been blacklisted on the Internet. You can also enable and disable IP and HTTP trackers and customize the program’s activities and interface. First, however, you should know some basic IT knowledge before using Peerblock. Tinywall Tinywall is a lightweight PC firewall with no annoying pop-ups or advertisements. It has an auto-learn function, so you can easily create exceptions. Tinywall also offers a whitelist, application access restriction, IPv6 support, blocklists by port and domains, password locks, etc. Sophos XG Firewall Home Edition Sophos has an excellent reputation in cybersecurity, and this offering shows why. It’s an entire network security system, covering concepts such as Wi-Fi users. But beware, it can overwrite existing OS or other configuration files on your system. FREE Course: Introduction to Cyber Security Learn and master the basics of cybersecurity Start Learning
The Best Free Firewall Software for macOS Here are three of the best open-source firewall software for macOS: IceFloor IceFloor protects your device from Trojan viruses, malware, and external spy attacks. It has an easy-to-use interface and monitors incoming and outgoing connections using filtering and bandwidth rules. Be warned, though; it hasn’t been updated since June 2014. Hands Off! This firewall also offers a premium (paid) version, but it’s relatively expensive. It prevents hackers from attacking your device by hiding it from view and protects your system from worms, trojans, and network parasites. Murus Lite Murus is a user-friendly, simple firewall that controls your applications’ Internet access while protecting them from unwanted networks’ outgoing and incoming activities.
The Best Free Firewall Software for Linux Here are three of the best open-source firewall software for Linux: ClearOS This product is an easy-to-use, well-supported Linux firewall with a great web-based management interface. You can configure and monitor a firewall and flesh out the distro for other network services. OpenWRT This firewall was designed for networks and routers, so it's not the best fit for home users looking for a simple firewall for their system. However, OpenWRT enjoys strong support, a plethora of add-ons, and rapid speeds. IPFire IPFire is easy to set up and configure. It provides users with a firewall, boasts intrusion detection and prevention capabilities, and can even be used on VPN facilities. Okay, so much for the freebies. The following software requires money. Rest assured, however, that you get your money's worth!
The Top Three Firewall Software Apps for Windows and macOS These paid firewalls work equally well for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Avast Premium Security This offering is a full-featured Internet security suite available in two primary forms: one PC use or up to 10 devices. So, you can use this firewall to protect your home system and your mobile devices as well. In addition, Avast gives you file encryption, anti-ransomware protection, and file shredder options. You also receive anti-phishing and anti-fraud protections (great for safer online banking) and protection against hacking for your webcam. Beware the pop-up adverts, though; they can get annoying. Bitdefender Total Security Here’s a product from a well-known security company. This robust cybersecurity suite provides a firewall, among other featured security protections. This product also includes antivirus protection, multi-layered malware protection, anti-phishing, anti-fraud, anti-theft options, and a performance optimizer. In addition, you get privacy protection options like anti-tracking, parental controls, file encryption and shredder, and protecting your microphone from getting hacked. Finally, this firewall protects up to five devices. Norton 360 Premium Here's the granddaddy of them all. Although it costs more, Norton 360 Premium gives you a full-featured security suite that includes a firewall. In addition, you get antivirus and standard anti-malware protection, a password manager, a secure VPN, parental controls, and online cloud backup. You even get dark web monitoring features that alert you if any of your details show up for sale on the Dark Web! Cybersecurity Expert Master's Program Master the Skills of a Cybersecurity Professional View Course
The Top Three Firewall Software Apps for Linux Endian Firewall Although Endian provides an open-source variant, we’re focusing on the paid version. Endian is a ready-to-use cybersecurity solution that offers four different versions (home users, small office network security, Wi-Fi/BYOD, and Industrial IoT). The firewall constantly analyzes data packets in real-time and offers extra features like bandwidth optimization, network failover, network gateway antivirus, VPN, intrusion prevention, and email security. Nebero Systems Nebero has five variants: Basic, SOHO, Standard, Premium, and Enterprise. The paid solutions feature unlimited user licenses and free upgrades and support for the first year. In addition, users get a gateway antivirus, unified threat management, intrusion prevention, Wi-Fi security, bandwidth management, virtual LAN, real-time monitoring, and additional protection for BYOD environments. OPNsense® Business Edition This product is a firewall solution based on the FreeBSD distribution of Linux and comes in an open-source and business version. OPNsense has remarkable firewall functionality and many valuable add-ons like web-filtering, two-factor authentication, intrusion detection, SD-WAN configurations, and a firewall compatible with IPv4 and IPv6. In addition, this firewall is well-supported, with over 70 plug-ins and 190 releases.
Firewalls for Small Business Small businesses face different challenges than big companies or home-based consumers. These businesses require more protection than the standard commercial offering, yet they don't have the financial resources of the larger organizations. Unfortunately, a data breach that could minorly inconvenience a vast corporation could utterly ruin a small business. Here are three great small business firewall offerings. Fortinet Fortinet is among the most well-known and effective hardware-driven solutions today. They have their own application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) processors that provide scalable, high-speed network management. Fortinet delivers a wide selection of routers and Next Generation Firewall support. In addition, Fortinet offers a Security Fabric package geared primarily towards small businesses. This comprehensive solution includes endpoint device protection, a powerful and secure firewall, and improved security for individual devices and applications. SonicWall Here’s another reputable, respected cybersecurity company that provides firewall protection for small businesses. SonicWall provides smaller companies with an agile, versatile firewall optimized for peak performance, featuring integrated Wi-Fi, single-pass deep packet inspection, and rapid setup. Cisco Meraki MX We wind up our list with an entry from another respected name in cybersecurity. Although Cisco’s name is usually associated with larger corporations, they offer a series of small branch firewalls that are well-suited for the SMB crowd. Many of Cisco’s entry-level firewalls can handle 50 clients simultaneously, with 50 concurrently running VPN connections. Cisco’s smaller branch solutions offer SMBs cloud-based management and firewall protection. Additional security features include advanced malware protection, content filtering, and an automated VPN configuration to protect outgoing web connections. Cyberspace may be filled with hordes of cybercrooks, spammers, scammers, and hackers, but don't worry; plenty of cybersecurity firewall solutions are available that won't break the bank. We've listed just a small sample of the many choices out there. Build your network security skill-set and beat hackers at their own game with the Certified Ethical Hacking Course. Check out the course preview now!