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Best Cybersecurity Software Shortlist

Here's my shortlist of the very best cybersecurity software, along with what I found each does best:

  1. Sprinto - Best for companies in highly regulated industries
  2. Barracuda Phishing and Impersonation Protection - Best anti-phishing tool
  3. Dynatrace - Best for securing applications
  4. Microsoft Intune - Best for endpoint security
  5. Azure Sphere - Best for IoT
  6. Crowdstrike Falcon - Best for ITOps teams
  7. Amazon CloudWatch - Best for AWS
  8. Datadog - Best for educational institutions
  9. Sophos - Best for small businesses
  10. NetScout - Best DDoS protection features
  11. Bitdefender - Best browser protection features
  12. Malwarebytes - Best rootkit scanner

Cybersecurity is vital for protecting trade secrets, safeguarding user data, and maintaining a reputable public image, but the sheer number of products competing for your attention can be overwhelming, and they’re not all interchangeable. The best security product for a budget-conscious small business won’t necessarily be the same as the enterprise-grade protection needed by a cloud-native DevOps team. That’s why I’ve tested a number of them to help you choose the one that fits your unique needs.

What Is Cybersecurity Software?

Cybersecurity software is a broad category of products designed to enhance digital security on physical devices, networks, and cloud platforms. Common tools include antiviruses, standards compliance managers, rootkit scanners, mailbox protectors, and infrastructure monitors. Some tools can also provide benefits such as real-time monitoring and alerts, logging, and resiliency, and detecting for both internal and external threats.

The software in this article varies in approach, but each one serves the same ultimate ends: protecting your company by securing your devices and infrastructure.

Overviews of the 12 Best Cybersecurity Software

Below are my picks for the best cybersecurity software with brief but detailed rundowns to help you compare their strengths, weaknesses, and pricing:

1. Sprinto - Best for companies in highly regulated industries

Sprinto cybersecurity software screenshot
Managing standards compliance with Sprinto. (Source)

Sprinto is an automated compliance management information security platform for cloud-based companies.

Why I picked Sprinto: I chose Sprinto for its ability to automate compliance, and I liked that it supports several industry and regulatory standards. These include GDPR, HIPAA, SOC 2, ISO 27001 and 27017, CIS, NIST, CCPA, PCI-DSS, CSA Star, OFDSS, and FFCRA.

Sprinto standout features and integrations:

Features that made me recommend Sprinto for highly regulated industries include the audit success portal, from which you can access compliance-related information from across your system and onboard any auditor. I also liked the Dr. Sprinto mobile device management (MDM) system that promotes privacy and data protection by defaulting to collecting data only when the user agrees to it.

Integrations are pre-built for AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, ClickUp, GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket, Jira, Asana, Office 365, and Heroku.

Pricing: From $8,000/year

Trial:Free demo available


  • Responsive customer support
  • Robust compliance automation
  • Audit success portal streamlines auditing processes


  • Could use more integrations
  • Relatively steep learning curve

2. Barracuda Phishing and Impersonation Protection - Best anti-phishing tool

Barracuda Phishing and Impersonation Protection cybersecurity software screenshot
Impersonation protection in different mailboxes with Barracuda Phishing and Impersonation Protection. (Source)

Barracuda Phishing and Impersonation Protection, previously called Barracuda Sentinel, is an email security solution for Microsoft 365 that fights against social engineering threats.

Why I picked Barracuda Phishing and Impersonation Protection: as I was looking into solutions for businesses to secure their emails, I evaluated how well Barracuda Phishing and Impersonation Protection handles spear phishing attempts. In my tests, I found that it’s very effective because it evaluates company-wide communication patterns and flags anomalies.

Barracuda Phishing and Impersonation Protection standout features and integrations:

Features that made me recommend Barracuda Phishing and Impersonation Protection include the ability to flag and stop inbound spoofing attacks by using sender authentication. I also appreciated how it scans outbound links to determine instances of web impersonation of services that you’d expect to request your financial information.

Integrations are pre-built for Microsoft 365.

Pricing: Pricing upon request

Trial:14-day free trial


  • Protects against most forms of phishing
  • Can detect most spoofing attempts
  • Lightweight and relatively unobtrusive


  • Microsoft 365-centric
  • You can’t customize reports

3. Dynatrace - Best for securing applications

Dynatrace cybersecurity software screenshot
Metrics for a web app monitored using Dynatrace. (Source)

Dynatrace is a cloud-based monitoring, observability, automation, and analytics solution for systems such as infrastructure and applications.

Why I picked Dynatrace: One of Dynatrace’s main offerings is its application performance monitoring (APM) solution, whose security features I tested. Whenever it found an issue, it sent me a single concise notification with actionable information that identified the root cause down to the exact line of code.

Dynatrace standout features and integrations:

Features that made me like Dynatrace’s APM tools include the automatic detection of all application dependencies and extending its scope, something I believe is useful for large complex systems or those that rely on microservices. It also provides usage metrics from both synthetic and real users to increase the pool of information you have for making decisions that affect performance and security.

Integrations are pre-built for GitLab, Google Cloud, AWS, Azure, Jenkins, Docker, Kubernetes, JFrog, PagerDuty, and LaunchDarkly.

Pricing: From $0.08/hour

Trial:15-day free trial


  • Robust application monitoring features
  • Makes debugging easier
  • Easy to deploy


  • Customer support is unresponsive at times
  • Only practical for enterprise applications

4. Microsoft Intune - Best for endpoint security

Microsoft Intune cybersecurity software screenshot
Managing devices with Microsoft Intune on Azure. (Source)

Microsoft Intune is a suite of tools for enterprise security and endpoint management that also provides device and data protection.

Why I picked Microsoft Intune: I chose Microsoft Intune because I found its built-in endpoint security tools were effective for devices across all major platforms — including Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS — to effectively monitor and act on vulnerabilities in all these systems. Endpoint protection is vital for modern networks with many users connecting via varying devices and locations, and Intune helped me streamline this complex process.

Microsoft Intune standout features and integrations:

Features that I liked while using Intune for endpoint security include privilege management, which allows you to change users’ permissions to correspond with the level of access you want them to have. Intune also provides remote help, which you can use to gain access to endpoint devices and resolve security issues for non-technical or low-level users.

Integrations are native for Microsoft 365 and Defender, as well as pre-built for ServiceNow, Better Mobile, and TeamViewer.

Pricing: From $8/user/month

Trial:30-day free trial


  • Role-based access control features
  • Strong security
  • Remote device access


  • Doesn’t work as well on Apple devices
  • Slow performance, especially at the start

5. Azure Sphere - Best for IoT devices

Azure Sphere cybersecurity software screenshot
Overview of an IoT device connected to Azure Sphere. (Source)

Azure Sphere is a platform for internet-connected devices that you can use to maintain security throughout your dev cycle as you create new IoT products, take them online, and maintain them for ongoing use.

Why I picked Azure Sphere: My assessment of Azure Sphere took longer than usual because I had to get my hands on a development kit, but I found it was worth the wait. It provided everything I needed to build a fully functional IoT device, with security services, a specialized Linux-based OS, and silicon in the form of a microcontroller unit (MCU).

Azure Sphere standout features and integrations

Features that impressed me most in Azure Sphere include the “chip to cloud” approach that begins with security hardwired right into the MCU. I liked the over-the-air (OTA) updates that automatically handled security patches and OS updates. I found it was easy to connect to other IoT platform services, such as Azure IoT Central and IoT Hub.

Integrations are native for Visual Studio and Azure, and they’re pre-built for AWS and Google Cloud.

Pricing: From $8.95

Trial:Free demo available


  • One-time purchase provides lifetime updates
  • Integrates with public and private clouds
  • Development kit for IoT devices


  • Limited hardware options; physical IoT components are Azure only
  • Managing both hardware and software makes for a higher technical bar

6. CrowdStrike Falcon - Best for ITOps teams

Crowdstrike Falcon cybersecurity software screenshot
Endpoint visibility with CrowdStrike Falcon. (Source)

CrowdStrike Falcon is a cloud-based security platform that analyzes networks for malware and similar threats.

Why I picked CrowdStrike Falcon: The CrowdStrike Falcon Discover feature scanned my network and identified applications, users, and devices that didn’t meet compliance standards. ITOps teams in charge of IT infrastructure can also choose higher product tiers for advanced capabilities like automated threat intelligence and managed threat-hunting services.

CrowdStrike Falcon standout features and integrations:

Features that make CrowdStrike Falcon ideal for ITOps include Falcon Spotlight, which boosts visibility across your systems so you can pinpoint and address vulnerabilities across endpoints. You can also use Falcon Forensics to collect cybersecurity incident data for analysis so you can strengthen your systems against future attacks.

Integrations are pre-built for AWS CloudTrail, Google Chronicle, Darktrace, Coralogix, and IBM Security Verify.

Pricing: From $299.95/year

Trial:15-day free trial


  • Provides strong ITOps-specific tools
  • Works with extended internet of things (XIoT) systems
  • Easy setup process


  • UI takes a while to get used to
  • Occasional conflict with other anti-malware tools

7. Amazon CloudWatch - Best for AWS

Amazon CloudWatch cybersecurity software screenshot
You can share customized dashboards with Amazon CloudWatch. (Source)

Amazon CloudWatch is a repository for metrics; it gives you access to statistics for infrastructure on AWS as well as other clouds and on-premise deployments.

Why I picked Amazon CloudWatch: Even though it works on other cloud and on-premise environments, CloudWatch shines brightest on AWS. For example, it collates data from Amazon VPC Flow and Amazon Route 53 DNS to collect and publish vended logs for you.

Amazon CloudWatch standout features and integrations:

Features that make CloudWatch ideal for security on AWS include data encryption both at rest and in transit for FedRamp and PCI compliance. You can also use AWS Key Management Service (KMS) to encrypt your log groups to make your systems more compliant. I was also able to use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to control user access to resources in my systems on a granular level.

Integrations are native for other AWS services, including KMS, IAM, ECS, EC2, DynamoDB, CloudTrail, Lambda, S3, Kinesis, and API Gateway.

Pricing: Pricing upon request

Trial:Free plan available


  • Collects metrics from several AWS sources
  • Strong logging features
  • Integrates natively with other powerful AWS tools


  • Relies heavily on AWS; may be harder to fit to other infrastructures
  • Can get expensive

8. Datadog - Best for educational institutions

Datadog cybersecurity software screenshot
Using custom methods to increase visibility with Datadog. (Source)

Datadog is a cloud monitoring platform that provides observability across systems such as infrastructure, applications, and digital experiences.

Why I picked Datadog: I chose Datadog because its infrastructure monitoring platform makes it easy to comply with the security standards, including those imposed on educational institutions, as well as in health and financial sectors. On top of the platform’s SOC 2 Type II certification, you can also implement TLS and HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS).

Datadog standout features and integrations:

Features I found while testing Datadog include the sensitive data scanner that combs through logs to identify, classify, and protect sensitive information. This could be great for any organization that needs to safeguard sensitive personal data, such as educational institutions responsible for student records. Datadog can also monitor portals and e-learning platforms, with real-time insights that you can act on to keep emerging threats at bay.

Integrations are pre-built for Adobe Experience Manager, AWS CloudTrail, Auth0, Google Workspace, OneLogin, Meraki, Sophos, Okta, Slack, Microsoft 365, and JFrog.

Pricing: From $15/host/month

Trial:Free plan available


  • Large integration library
  • Beginner-friendly UI and dashboards
  • Provides a unified monitoring solution


  • Can get expensive if usage isn’t monitored
  • Complex setup on private hardware

9. Sophos - Best for small businesses

Sophos cybersecurity software screenshot
Endpoint security with Sophos. (Source)

Sophos is a cybersecurity-as-a-service company with solutions that cover areas such as endpoint, network, email, and cloud security.

Why I picked Sophos: Sophos provides both desktop and rack-mounted firewall options. As someone that’s worked in small operations with in-house infrastructure, these are valuable tools for keeping the entire system safe at the outset.

Sophos standout features and integrations:

Features that I believe make Sophos ideal for small businesses include the choice of self-managed tools like firewalls and endpoint protection, or fully-managed threat detection and response (MDR). With MDR, Sophos will deploy an incident response team when you’re experiencing an attack and provide active protection against ransomware and data breaches – an option I felt might be an especially good fit for business with little or no in-house security expertise.

Integrations are pre-built for Jira, Jenkins, GitHub, Bitbucket, Terraform, Azure, AWS, PagerDuty, Sumo Logic, and Auvik.

Pricing: Pricing upon request

Trial:Free demo available


  • 24/7 security
  • Can integrate into DevOps workflows and CI/CD pipelines
  • Relatively gentle learning curve


  • Resource intensive
  • Often flags false positives

10. NetScout - Best DDoS protection features

NetScout cybersecurity software screenshot
Network performance visibility in real time with NetScout. (Source)

NetScout is an enterprise network visibility platform that provides real-time insights for security, performance, and availability.

Why I picked NetScout: In my evaluations, I found that NetScout provides an on-premise DDoS solution that monitors both high and low-volume traffic. The latter is what makes up most attacks to the application layer, and because cloud-based automated volumetric monitors can often miss them, I think it’s important to have an on-premise line of defense.

NetScout standout features and integrations:

Features that made me recommend NetScout for DDoS attack protection include the ability to use stateless devices to protect stateful devices, such as load balancers and VPN concentrators, against state exhaustion attacks. NetScout also provides actionable threat intelligence built on global data to ensure that you always have everything you need to understand and deal with emergent DDoS threats.

Integrations are pre-built for ServiceNow, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, F5, Palo Alto Networks, Panorama, Cortex XSOAR, Splunk, and RedHat OpenShift.

Pricing: Pricing upon request

Trial:Free demo available


  • Robust DDoS prevention features
  • Scalable
  • Provides both application and network protection


  • Difficult to set up
  • UI can be overwhelming

11. Bitdefender - Best browser protection features

Bitdefender Google Chrome cybersecurity software screenshot
Here’s how the Bitdefender TrafficLight plugin works in Google Chrome. (Source)

Bitdefender is a cybersecurity provider whose main focus is on threat protection in both personal and small business environments, with tools including antivirus, VPNs, and endpoint protection for workstations and mobile devices.

Why I picked Bitdefender: I picked Bitdefender because of TrafficLight, a browser extension that brings its malware protection features online. It automatically scanned links to ensure I wasn’t clicking on malicious websites, something that kept me from most phishing attempts and suspicious downloads.

Bitdefender standout features and integrations:

Features that I liked while using Bitdefender in my browser include the search result scanner that flags suspicious results that the search engine might have missed. I also liked the tracker identifier that kept third parties from following my online moves even after I’d navigated away from their platforms.

Integrations are pre-built for Azure, VMware Tanzu, Azure Active Directory, IBM QRadar, Nutanix Prism Element, Splunk, Citrix XenServer, Amazon EC2, Azure Sentinel, and Veeam.

Pricing: From $1.25/month

Trial: Free plan available


  • Easy to install as a browser extension
  • Affordable for personal use
  • Protects against most online threats


  • Very limited VPN
  • Isn’t as reliable outside of Windows

12. Malwarebytes - Best rootkit scanner

Malwarebytes cybersecurity software screenshot
Rootkit scan results in Malwarebytes. (Source)

Malwarebytes provides anti-malware and cybersecurity services for devices used by both personal and business customers.

Why I picked Malwarebytes: I chose malwarebytes because it provides a free rootkit scanner that makes it easier to find these notoriously difficult-to-detect forms of malware. It uses the same approach to heuristics and anomaly detection that goes into addressing zero-day attacks so you can deal with rootkits as soon as possible. I also liked their antivirus and VPN products.

Malwarebytes standout features and integrations:

Features that I took note of while evaluating Malwarebytes’ rootkit scanner include automatic repairs of any system files and services that might have been damaged by an infection. It also scans first and provides you with a list of rootkits it discovers so you can review them before taking action. This way, you can ensure that it doesn’t interfere with any ethical hacking exercises you have in progress.

Integrations are pre-built for ServiceNow, Slack, Datto RMM, Azure Sentinel, IBM QRadar, Splunk, Rapid7, Addigy, Atera, and ConnectWise.

Pricing: From $3.75/device/month

Trial:Free plan available


  • Beginner-friendly and intuitive design
  • Free antivirus and rootkit scanner
  • Premium plans are relatively cheap, especially for businesses


  • Free plan is a comprehensive enough security solution on its own
  • Some features are Windows-only

Other Cybersecurity Software Options

While I was making my evaluations, I found these tools that didn’t make the main list, but might still be a good choice for other use cases:

  1. Acronis - Best data loss prevention features
  2. Windows Security - Best free option for Windows
  3. Kali Linux - Best for penetration testing
  4. TrustArc - Best cookie consent manager
  5. PrivacyEngine - Best staff training features
  6. Fortinet - Best firewall
  7. NetBrain - Best network automation features
  8. Cisco Umbrella - Best DNS-layer protection
  9. IBM Security Randori Recon - Best security strategy services
  10. Symantec End-User Endpoint Security - Best zero-day threat protection
  11. Sumo Logic - Best infrastructure log management
  12. Splunk Enterprise - Best for financial institutions
  13. Druva Data Resiliency Cloud - Best data resilience features

Selection Criteria for Cybersecurity Software

Here are the factors I considered when evaluating the tools in this list of the best computer security software.

Core Functionality

Some of the main functions I needed the tools I was evaluating to be able to do include:

  • Allow IT teams to understand and conduct additional research into cyber threats by providing them with up-to-date definitions.
  • Automatically update themselves to ensure human error or lapses don’t compromise security.
  • Quarantine threats rather than delete them so security teams can assess them later in safe environments.

Key Features

Some of the key features that would help the tools provide the functionality outlined above include:

  • Real-time monitoring: Detect threats and quarantine them as soon as possible.
  • Logging: For debugging, audits, and other security-related evaluations.
  • Encryption: At all possible levels, to keep unauthorized access and overload at bay.


Because security threats are often time-sensitive, I wanted the tools to make the user experience painless so they could take action as soon as possible. To evaluate this, I considered how balanced the alerting systems are, the conciseness of the threat definitions, and priority tagging, all crucial towards identifying the next steps.

Value for Money

Cybersecurity can get expensive, so I looked at tools that give you the most bang for your buck. In my evaluations, I found that options used to secure business machines go for between $4 and $25 per device per month.

On the lower end of this, I was looking for protection against the most common threats, such as viruses and other malware.

On the higher end, I expected the product to go beyond the basics with additional features. For individuals and small businesses these would be other fundamentals such as VPNs, password managers, and phishing attempt protection. More advanced users and larger enterprises might look for advanced network visibility, complete endpoint protection, and more robust logging and reporting.

People Also Ask

If you feel like you need more information about computer security before you can make a decision, here are the answers to some questions you might have.


Last year, the annual financial losses from cyber crimes were over $10 billion. Digital security should be an important consideration for businesses of all sizes to protect themselves from both internal and external threats.

When looking at cybersecurity solutions, look beyond your immediate needs and think about what they might become in the future. Use this list as a starting point as I’ve evaluated tools that are good at providing several forms of protection.

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By Paulo Gardini Miguel

Paulo is the Director of Technology at the rapidly growing media tech company BWZ. Prior to that, he worked as a Software Engineering Manager and then Head Of Technology at Navegg, Latin America’s largest data marketplace, and as Full Stack Engineer at MapLink, which provides geolocation APIs as a service. Paulo draws insight from years of experience serving as an infrastructure architect, team leader, and product developer in rapidly scaling web environments. He’s driven to share his expertise with other technology leaders to help them build great teams, improve performance, optimize resources, and create foundations for scalability.