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Accounting software helps you track your accounts payable and expenses in one place.

Accounting software packages vary in size, capabilities and integrations.

When selecting accounting software, you should evaluate all offerings, including compliance, reporting, tracking and available add-ons.

This article is for small business owners or financial officers looking to incorporate accounting software into their operations.

One of your top priorities as a small business owner is keeping a close eye on the money you bring in and pay out. This is why it’s critical to have the right accounting software. You need a program that helps you accomplish your daily accounting tasks, including recording payments, tracking expenses, invoicing customers and reconciling transactions. Your accounting software should also help you manage your business’s financial health, allowing you to generate reports that analyze your business’s performance from multiple angles.

Editor’s note: Looking for information on accounting software for your business? Use the questionnaire below, and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information and quotes you need.

We’ll examine the factors involved in choosing accounting software for your small business and look at some excellent options. 

Primary factors to consider when choosing accounting software

Choosing the best accounting software for your business is challenging. Every program includes a different set of features, and most offer multiple pricing plans that vary in functionality, number of users and other aspects. 

To simplify your search, keep three primary factors in mind when selecting accounting software for your business.

Cost: Would you prefer inexpensive, basic accounting software or an application that costs more but includes extra features?

Usability: How many users must access the software? Do you prefer a cloud-based system you can access anywhere or desktop software? Do you need your accounting software to have a mobile app? What capabilities do you need the app to have?

Features: What do you need the accounting software to do? Do you need both accounts receivable and accounts payable tools? Which accounting reports do you need to generate? Do you need it to track inventory? Do you need it to include ancillary services, such as time tracking, project management,and payroll?

Tip

If you already know what you need and only want to see our recommendations, see our page for the best accounting software for small business.

What usability factors should you look for in accounting software?

To find the best accounting software for your business, you need to decide how and where you want to use it and if anyone else will be using the system. Here are some factors to consider.

Easy integration

Even the world’s most feature-packed, reasonably priced accounting applications won’t do your business much good if they don’t integrate with your existing solutions, such as sales platforms, shipping systems and even payroll applications. By choosing accounting software that works with your existing solutions, you won’t have any compatibility issues leading to potential time-consuming errors. 

Multi-user access

Most accounting programs allow you to invite other users to the system and control the data they see and the tasks they access. For instance, you may wish to give your business partner and accountant full access while allowing your employees to use the system only to track their time and invoice customers. 

Some systems allow you to invite multiple users at no additional cost; others provide free accountant access but require you to subscribe to a higher pricing plan or pay extra to add other users to the system. Some solutions offer “unlimited” payment plans to accommodate growing businesses while providing robust account options. Understanding your company’s access needs will guide you toward the right decision.

Multi-business support

If you own more than one business, you may want accounting software that supports multiple small businesses under one account at no additional cost. Otherwise, you’ll pay extra to set up separate accounts for each entity.

Cloud-based software and mobile access

Most of the top accounting systems are cloud-based so that you can access your account anytime, anywhere from any computer with internet access. This ease of access helps you run your business remotely, whether you’re at home or on vacation.

Many also offer mobile apps to help you monitor key information and accomplish core tasks on the go, which is especially helpful for teams working from home or in the field. Some packages offer separate apps for employees with basic features, such as tracking time and submitting expense receipts.

Mobile app capabilities vary, so if mobile access is an essential feature for you, ensure the accounting system’s app has the functionality you need. You’ll also want to ensure it works on your preferred platform, as some are compatible only with iOS, while others can be used with smartwatches in addition to phones and tablets.

Key Takeaway

When choosing the right small business accounting software, consider how you need to access the software. For example, would you utilize mobile apps or require remote access through cloud software?

What are the top accounting software providers?

There are a few leading accounting software providers that offer stellar service. Which provider you should choose comes down to a few key factors, but the better-known names are reputable and offer reliable service. 

These are some of the best-regarded accounting software providers:

QuickBooks

FreshBooks

Sage 50cloud

Wave Accounting

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is one of the leading accounting software providers in the world, and with good reason. Renowned for stellar products and accounting support, QuickBooks is a fantastic all-in-one accounting solution for small or growing businesses. 

QuickBooks comes with a nice variety of features that can handle most businesses’ needs, including payroll, estimate creation, organizing receipts and even cutting-edge automation technologies – all to keep your accounts up to date and error-free.

Prices range from $12.50 per month for a single user up to $90 per month for up to 25 users. But unless you’re running an accounting firm, you probably won’t need to create accounts for too many employees, so you can keep your monthly costs manageable. 

For more information, read our QuickBooks Online review.

FreshBooks

Another great option for accounting software is FreshBooks, which is filled with features to keep your finances in order. Because FreshBooks uses a payment model based on how many billable clients you have, rather than how many users need access, it’s an ideal service for contract workers or ultra-small businesses. 

Organizations with up to five clients can expect to pay $6 per month for FreshBooks’ services. For $20 per month, an organization could subscribe to a service plan to accommodate an “unlimited” number of clients. 

With FreshBooks, services include expense tracking, estimate submissions, automatic recurring bills, vendor management and more. It gives any small business a fantastic return on investment and can easily scale as your business grows.

Our review of FreshBooks has more details about how this software stacks up.

Sage 50cloud

The most significant selling point of Sage 50cloud accounting software is its easy integration with Microsoft 365 enterprise software. Sage 50cloud has a robust and intuitive dashboard so you can easily understand and analyze your accounting activities, all from a central hub. By capitalizing on the cloud architecture of Microsoft 365, 50cloud can access and organize your data to simplify all your accounting activities.

Pricing for Sage 50cloud is available on annual plans only, but each plan comes with features such as cash flow analysis, inventory management and 24/7 support to remove any hurdles from your accounting software. If you’re using Microsoft 365 as your preferred enterprise software solution, this is a great accounting software solution.

Wave Accounting

For a business that needs a free, easy-to-use accounting solution, Wave Accounting is a great place to start. Although Wave Accounting is free, it offers an excellent array of features and functionality to help organize and streamline any business. With Wave, any business can set up basic accounting with ways to optimize operations. 

Wave allows you to link multiple bank accounts or credit cards, while essential financial tools allow you to generate reports to observe your financial performance, whether it’s month over month or year over year, and provide significant financial insights about your business’s overall health.

You can learn more in our Wave Accounting review.

Cloud-based accounting software vs. desktop software

While you may assume that your chosen accounting software’s cloud-based and desktop versions perform the same functions, the two platforms can have significant differences.  

The desktop version of an accounting software package is typically a one-time purchase. On the other hand, cloud-based software usually runs on a subscription model. Often, desktop accounting software can access data saved to that computer only, missing out on the updated features and functionality that come with cloud-based options. Unlike cloud software, however, desktop accounting software is not dependent on an internet connection for access.

Cloud-based software syncs directly with your bank accounts and can be accessed from anywhere. It offers regular updates with new features to optimize functionality. Additionally, cloud-based data storage offers top-level security, so you can rest assured that your sensitive financial information is protected.

Key Takeaway

There are considerable differences between desktop and cloud software, but user access is vital. Desktop software is available only on the computer on which it was installed, while cloud-based software is accessible from anywhere you have internet access.

Questions to ask when evaluating accounting software

When you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few options, sign up for the free trials so you can see for yourself whether the accounting software has the features you need, is easy to use and saves you time. 

Call the software companies and gauge the quality of their customer service so that you can be confident that you’ll receive the support you need if you experience an issue with the program.

Here’s a list of questions to ask when you call to help you select the right accounting software for your business:

Is your software a good fit for my industry?

Do you offer customized solutions to fit my business’s needs?

How many employees and clients can your software accommodate?

How can your software help me comply with GAAP, tax laws and financial regulations?

How is my data backed up? Can access be restored immediately after an outage?

What security measures do you have in place to keep both my business’s and my customers’ data secure?

What is the total cost? Are there any setup or cloud storage fees?

What types of tech support and customer service do you provide? (For instance, does the provider offer your preferred form of contact, such as via phone or live chat?)

Eduardo Vasconcellos and Stella Morrison contributed to the writing and research in this article.

You're reading How To Choose Accounting Software For Your Business

11 Best Small Business Accounting Software In Usa (2023)

Accounting software is an application that records and processes financial transactions within modules. These modules include account receivable, account payable, ledger, journal, payroll, etc. It helps professionals to manage accounts and perform numerous accounting operations.

Following is a handpicked list of Top Accounting Software for Small Business with popular features and website links. The list contains both open source (free) and commercial (paid) software.

Best Accounting Software for Small Business

Quickbooks is an automated accounting software that enables you to handle sales tax, bookkeeping, invoicing, etc. You can use this software to track bills and expenses.

#1 Top Pick

Quickbooks

5.0

Customer Support: Phone

Compliance standard: PCI and SOC

Supported Platforms: Windows, Android and iOS

Free Trial: 30 Days Free Trial

Visit Quickbooks

Features:

You can access your account and manage your business anytime, anywhere.

It supports online banking integration.

You to create professional invoices and sales receipts.

Control your books with roles and permissions.

You can manage your cash flow according to vendors’ due.

Quickbooks is a small business accounting software in USA provides customizable reports and dashboards.

Supports compliance standard such as PCI and SOC

Offers inventory tracking

Provides multiple payment options like debit or credit card, ACH bank transfer, Apple Pay®, PayPal, and Venmo

Seamlessly integrates with PayPal, Square, Etsy, and Shopify

Offers Payment Reminders, Cashflow Tracking, Payroll, and Invoicing

It provides customer support via Phone

Supported platforms: Windows, Android and iOS

Price: Plans start at $11 a month. 30% Discount on Yearly Payment.

Free Trial: 30 Days Free Trial

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Simple and easy to use Below-average customer support

Beginner-friendly UI

Easy inventory management

Sync bank statements

30-Days Free Trial

Zoho Books is a tax compliant accounting software that enables you to manage your account payables, receivables. It allows you to collaborate with the company employee.

#2

Zoho Books

4.9

Customer Support: Phone, Chat and Email

Compliance standard: GST and GDPR

Supported Platforms: Windows, Android and iOS

Free Trial: 14 Days Free Trial

Visit Zoho Books

Features:

It automatically calculates GST and generates the report.

You can follow up payment using automatic alerts.

It enables you to integrate with numerous online payments.

Zoho Books enables you to track expenses and record bills.

You can choose your price from the list provided by Zoho Books.

It automatically fetches a bank statement from the bank into your account.

You can manage more than one project, add tasks, and assign them to employees.

You can generate invoice customer depend on on-task time or fix cost for any project.

Supports compliance standard such as GST and GDPR

Offers stock tracking

Provides multiple payment options like PayPal, Eazypay, Razorpay, and paytm

Offers End-to-end accounting, Receivables, Payables, Inventory, Banking, Timesheet, Contacts, and Reports

Seamlessly integrates with Zapier, Office, Slack, and twilio

Offers Multi-currency, Payment Reminders, Cashflow Tracking, Payroll, and Invoicing

It provides customer support via Phone, Chat and Email

Supported platforms: Windows, Android and iOS

Price: Plans start at $20 a month. 25% Discount on Yearly Payment.

Free Trial: 14 Days Free Trial

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Easy to access Complex for small businesses

End-to-End Accounting Cannot track fixed assets

Time Tracking

Customizable Reports

Great mobile apps

14-Days Free Trial

FreshBooks is an best accounting software in USA developed by 2ndsite Inc company. It helps you to run your small business fast, easy, and secure way.

#3

FreshBooks

4.8

Customer Support: Phone, Chat and Email

Compliance standard: PCI and GDPR

Supported Platforms: Windows, Android and iOS

Free Trial: 30 Days Free Trial (No Credit Card Required)

Visit FreshBooks

Features:

This accounting software enables you to organize expenses effortlessly.

You can use log hours without any hassle and automatically put them onto the invoice.

This accounting software helps you to collaborate on projects.

It provides easy to understand reports on finance.

Freshbook mobile app helps you to stay connected with your clients.

It automatically checks and balances to ensure compliance and accuracy.

Supports compliance standard such as PCI and GDPR

Offers Time and Mileage tracking

Provides multiple payment options like VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, Apple Pay, Stripe, and PayPal

Offers Accounting + Reports, File Sharing, Rich Proposals, Tax-Friendly Categories, Automatic Tax Calculations, and Retainers

Seamlessly integrates with Hubspot, Zapier, and Wufoo

Offers Multi-currency, Payment Reminders, Cashflow Tracking, Payroll, and Invoicing

It provides customer support via Phone, Chat and Email

Supported platforms: Windows, Android and iOS

Price: Plans start at $4.50 a month. 5% Discount on Yearly Payment.

Free Trial: 30 Days Free Trial (No Credit Card Required)

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Fast customer supports Lacks multi-currency support

Flexible pricing plans

Expansive integration

Collaboration focused

30 Days Free Trial (No Credit Card Required)

Features:

This accounting software can track bank cash flow.

It allows you to send online invoices with online payment options.

You can connect Xero to your bank.

Record and manage receipts and expenses.

You can follow an employee’s payroll information.

Xero provides financial reports to monitor the amounts.

It saves a snapshot of relationship history and contacts.

This accounting software has one dashboard to check business performance.

Supports compliance standard such as ISO 27001, SOC 2, and PCI DSS

Offers transaction and Projects tracking

Provides multiple payment options like debit and credit

Offers Pay bills, Claim expenses, Bank connections, Accept payments, Track projects, Bank reconciliation, Capture data, Reporting, Inventor, and Analytics

Seamlessly integrates with Zapier

Offers Multi-currency, Cashflow Tracking, Payroll, and Invoicing

It provides customer support via Email

Supported platforms: Windows, Mac, Android and iOS

Price: Plans start at $25 a month.

Free Trial: 30 Days Free Trial

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Ease of use No live chat and phone support

Easily Integrated No automatic recurring payments

User-Friendly

Cloud-based Service

30-Days Free Trial

NetSuite is an integrated cloud business product suite developed by Oracle. It provides real-time visibility of your business financial performance.

Features:

It has billing management capabilities that can integrate your finance and sales.

This bookkeeping software provides a revenue recognition management solution.

Netsuite helps you to streamline your financial planning process.

You can manage users according to their roles using the dashboard.

Supports compliance standard such as SOC, ISO 27001 and PCI DSS

Offers Stock and inventory tracking

Provides multiple payment options like Credit card, ACH, PayPal, and Apple Pay

Offers Cloud Finance, Accounting Solutions, Billing Management, Revenue Recognition Management, Financial Planning, Financial Reporting, and Global Accounting

It provides customer support via Phone, Chat and Email

Offers Multi-currency, Cashflow Tracking, Payroll, and Invoicing

Supported platforms: Windows, Linux and Mac OS

Price: Plans start at $99 a month.

Free Trial: 14 Days Free Trial

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Multiple integration options Pricing isn’t transparent

Ideal for big companies Not ideal for small businesses

Real-Time Data Visibility

Large User Network

14 Days Free Trial

Patriotsoftware is an online accounting and payroll management software for small businesses. It enables you to securely run your payroll from any device connected to the internet.

Features:

This small business accounting software provides support via phone, chat, or email.

You can track all customer payments you need to make.

It utilizes encryption techniques to keep your bank information safe.

You can assign departments to vendor payments and customer invoices.

Supports compliance standard such as Payroll

Provides multiple payment options like PayPal, Venmo, and Zelle

Offers Free Direct Deposit, Easy-to-use, Quality—everywhere, Being trustworthy, Free Payroll Setup, and Unlimited Payrolls

It provides customer support via Phone, Chat and Email

Offers Multi-currency, Payment Reminders, Cashflow Tracking, Payroll, and Invoicing

Supported platforms: Windows

Price: Plans start at $17 a month.

Free Trial: 30 Days Free Trial

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Easy to use No customizable reports

Affordable Lack of notifications

Simple interface

Great payroll flexibility

30 Days Free Trial

Melio is a web-based accounts payable software that lets businesses conveniently pay their bills via bank transfer and debit card for free OR via a credit card (2.9% fee), even for vendors who only accept check payments.

Features:

Pay any invoice with a bank transfer for FREE, or use your credit card to defer payment (2.9% fee). Vendors receive a check or a bank deposit

No sign-up or monthly fees. No transaction fees and no charges to recipients

User-friendly, efficient, reduce costs, saves time, which enables SMBs to focus their business rather than logistics

Designed specifically for the needs of SMBs

Supports compliance standard such as PCI DSS

Provides multiple payment options like ACH, debit, and credit

Offers Unlimited users, Recurring payments, Team management, Approval workflows, Accounts Payable, and more

Seamlessly integrates with Quickbooks, Xero, and FreshBooks

Offers Multi-currency, Payment Reminders, and Invoicing

It provides customer support via Contact Form and Email

Supported platforms: Windows and Mac

Price: Plans start at $1.50 a month.

Free Trial: 7 Days Free Trial

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Reliable cusomer support Only pay companies located in the U.S.

Easy approval for the payment Limits of Integration

Easy payroll process

Organize documents

7 Days Free Trial

Sage is a small business and accounting software that helps you to manage payments and expenses. It offers a wide range of payroll and accountancy products.

Features:

You can access customer details, transaction history, and account balances from M.S. outlook.

It can be integrated with Office 365.

You can upload a photograph of expense receipts to Microsoft OneDrive, and it will automatically sync with Sage.

It enables you to schedule backup to MS OneDrive with 1 T.B. of available storage.

Supports compliance standard such as GDPR

Offers Stock and Inventory tracking

Provides multiple payment options like Stripe and Paypal

Offers Automated bank reconciliation, Cash flow & invoicing, Job costing, Reporting, and Security Shield

Seamlessly integrates with Zapier

Offers Multi-currency, Cashflow Tracking, Payroll, and Invoicing

Supported platforms: Windows and Mac

Price: Plans start at $34.30 a month. 40% Discount on Yearly Payment.

Free Trial: 30 Days Free Trial (No Credit Card Required)

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Cloud-based Time-consuming to set up

In-depth reporting function Not easy to use

Multiple customisation opportunities Lack of Efficiency

Easy integration

Affordable monthly costs

30 Days Free Trial

Neat is the easy-to-use small business accounting and bookkeeping software for businesses of all sizes. It is one of the best small business accounting software that increases efficiency with real-time reporting, mobile receipt capture, fuss-free customer billing with online payments, and more.

Features:

Neat helps you visualize your business by providing trending data about your cash balance, total sales, large expenses, etc.

It allows you to access saved reports and documents that need review.

It helps you to make informed decisions with real-time reporting.

It enables you to reduce costly bookkeeping mistakes.

It offers unlimited support to solve all your queries.

You can use Neat’s mobile app to upload and match receipts to expenses as they occur on your phone or tablet.

It helps you to pair receipts with expenses in minutes so that you will get real time updates.

Supports compliance standard such as HIPAA

Offers Expenses tracking

Provides multiple payment options like Visa, Discover, Mastercard, American Express, Bank ACH, Check (Manual Entry), and Cash (Manual Entry)

Offers Make tax time less taxing, From anywhere to everywhere, Unlimited file storage, Data capture with human verification, and more

Seamlessly integrates with Quickbooks, Quicken, Outlook, mailchimp, Gmail, and turbotax

Offers Multi-currency, Payment Reminders, Cashflow Tracking, Payroll, and Invoicing

It provides customer support via Chat and Contact Form

Supported platforms: Windows, Android and iOS

Price: Plans start at $200 a month.

Free Trial: 14 Days Free Trial

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Easy to use Lacks CRM integration

Easy to install Expensive

Simple interface

Easy to pair receipts with expenses

14-Days Free Trial

10) Freeagent

FreeAgent is an online accounting and money management tool. You can use it to send and track professionally designed invoices. This small business accounting software provides a bird’s eye view of the performance of income, expenses, and profit.

Features:

You can fill and file your self-assessment tax return to HMRC.

You can forecast your corporation tax bill.

This best accounting software enables you to analyze your cash flow and see when your tax bills are due.

Freeagent provides a bird’s eye view of the performance of income, expenses, and profit.

This small business accounting software offers an in-built stopwatch to record your time.

Supports compliance standard such as GDPR

Offers Time and Expenses tracking

Provides multiple payment options like paypal, gocardless, stripe, dwolla, debit, and credit card

Offers Dashboard, Business insights with Radar, Property, Security, Estimates, Expenses, Projects, Banking, Sales Tax, Unlimited user, and MTD-compatible

Seamlessly integrates with Dext, stripe, PayPal, Sellwire, Cyclr, and Zapier

Offers Multi-currency, Payment Reminders, Cashflow Tracking, Payroll, and Invoicing

It provides customer support via Chat and Email

Supported platforms: Windows

Price: Plans start at $12 a month. 12% Discount on Yearly Payment.

Free Trial: 30 Days Free Trial

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Reasonable monthly cost Limited reporting features

International invoicing Lack of integrations

Well-designed UI

Unlimited number of clients

11) Waveapps

Waveapps accounting tool helps you to handle invoices, track expenses, transactions, and investments. It enables you to connect unlimited bank connections.

Features:

This accounting software for small business enables you to track income and expenses without any stress.

Waveapps enables you to create and send unlimited professional invoices.

It has a smart dashboard that gives complete information about how your business is going.

Supports compliance standard such as PCI DSS

Offers Income and Expenses tracking

Provides multiple payment options like bank deposit, credit card, and Apple Pay

Offers Accounting, Banking and Advisors

Seamlessly integrates with PayPal, Stripe, HubSpot, Zapier, and Avaza

Offers Payment Reminders, Cashflow Tracking, Payroll, and Invoicing

It provides customer support via Email

Supported platforms: Windows

Price: Plans start at $6 a month.

Free Trial: 30 Days Free Trial

👍 Pros 👎 Cons

Fully integrated Lacks time-tracking features

Hassle-free Invoice management Basic options for the reporting

User-friendly interface Poor customer support

Handling multi-currency

FAQ

The following are the key difference between desktop and cloud small business accounting software:

Desktop Small Business Accounting Software: To use desktop software, You need to install software on your computer and run it there. And all your business accounts data is also stored on your computer.

Cloud Small Business Accounting Software: This accounting software runs on the internet. To use it, no need to install software on your computer. Your business accounts data is stored on a cloud server. To access the Cloud software, you visit a website and sign in with a username and password. This means you can access software with a connection to the internet from anywhere and any device.

Below are some of the Best Small Business Accounting Software in USA:

Quickbooks

Zoho Books

Freshbooks

Xero

Netsuite

Patriotsoftware

Melio

Sage

You should consider the following factors before selecting best accounting software for small business.

Ease of use.

Size of your business.

Quality of Customer support.

License cost, if applicable.

Hardware/Software requirements of the accounting software.

Support and Update the policy of the accounting software.

Reviews of the company.

Best Accounting Software for Small Business

Consumer Software That’s Good For Business

You’ve probably seen the phrase “the consumerization of IT” bandied about. What does it mean? According to Microsoft, it’s a blurring of the lines between people’s personal and professional lives, driven by their desire to use the same technology at work as they use at home.

Travel Planning

TripIt is a fabulous and free personal travel-management tool that can easily adapt to the needs of small businesses. If you or your employees regularly travel for business, this tool can help you monitor where everyone is going, track how long they’ll be out of the office, and manage the reservations-related minutiae that crop up with even the shortest of trips.

How does it work? First, set up a free account on TripIt. Next, assign someone to create a group for your company that will enable your employees to share their travel details. Once TripIt approves your request, ask all of the traveling employees in your organization to create their own accounts and sign up for the group. Congratulations: You’re all connected.

If TripIt’s automatic-import feature doesn’t play nice with your email system (it’s most compatible with Web-based services, such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail), simply forward a copy of each of your travel-related email messages to a standard TripIt address. TripIt will automatically organize and import details associated with your flight confirmations, hotel and dinner reservations, car rentals, and the like into a trip itinerary, which you can then add to your personal or business calendar. You can access the program on the go via apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone 7 devices, too.

Productivity

The catch? If you want Google to manage the core of your communications for free, you get only ten user accounts, each of which is entitled to 10GB of storage. That’s sufficient for many small businesses, but larger entities will need to pay up. Google charges $5 per user per month, or you can save a little cash by signing up for one year of service at $50 per user.

Cloud Storage

Even if your business is outfitted with the most robust servers containing terabytes of network storage, you could still benefit from using consumer cloud-storage services for stashing files, syncing folders on multiple computers, and collaborating with colleagues.

Services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive make it easy to share files among departments, teams, individual employees, and outside contractors. Each service offers a set amount of storage for free, and you can purchase more as you need it. These services are particularly useful for special projects: Rather than granting network access across the board, you can create a folder in the cloud, store only the documents everyone needs for that project, and then share that folder with the people involved in the project. And for sending large files, cloud storage is more convenient than email, which typically caps the size of attachments.

Cloud storage also helps you keep files synchronized between your home base of operations, traveling staffers, and remote employees. This arrangement can save your IT team from creating secure VPN (virtual private network) connections and setting up secure remote-sharing capabilities on your corporate network. All you have to do is stash important files in your cloud storage and grant access to other people on an as-needed basis. Traveling or remote employees will have access on any device–PC, tablet, or smartphone–from anywhere they have Internet service.

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How To Choose The Best Intrusion Prevention System For Your Needs

Cyber threats pose significant risks to organizations of all sizes, making robust security measures imperative. An intrusion prevention system (IPS) is one critical component in an organization’s cybersecurity arsenal, acting as a vigilant gatekeeper to actively monitor network traffic and prevent unauthorized access and malicious attacks. Choosing the right IPS can depend on everything from whether it is network-based or hosted to how well it integrates with existing systems and how much it costs.

We’ve rounded up the best intrusion prevention systems to help make the selection process less daunting. Here are our top picks:

Here’s a look at how the top IPSs compared based on key features.

Real-Time Alerts Integration with Other Security Systems Type of Intrusion Detection Automatic Updates Pricing

Cisco Secure Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention System Yes Yes Network-based Yes On-contact

Fidelis Network Yes Yes Network-based Yes 15-day free trial

Palo Alto Networks Threat Prevention Yes Yes Network-based and host-based Yes Free trial

Trellix Intrusion Prevention System Yes Yes Network-based and host-based Yes On-contact

Jump to:

Best for comprehensive network security

This highly flexible solution can be easily deployed across different network environments as its open architecture supports Amazon Web Services (AWS), VMWare, Azure, and other hypervisors.

Enhanced visibility with Firepower Management Center

Constantly updated early-warning system

Flexible deployment options for inline inspection or passive detection

Cisco Threat Intelligence Director for third-party data ingestion

Real-time data inputs optimize data security

Easy integration without major hardware changes

High scalability with purpose-built solutions

Expensive for small-scale organizations

Initial integration challenges

Cisco offers free trials for most products, including its IPS, but does not make its pricing readily available. For details, contact Sales Support.

Best for Advanced Threat Detection Response

This specific network defense solution helps prevent future breaches with both real-time and retrospective analysis.

Patented Deep Session Inspection for data exfiltration

Improved response with the MITRE ATT&CK framework and intelligence feed from Fidelis Cybersecurity

Unified network detection and response (NDR) solution for simplified network security

Customizable real-time content analysis rules for proactive network security

Faster threat analysis and improved security efficiency

Deeper visibility and threat detection with more than 300 metadata attributes

Single-view and consolidated network alerts with rich cyber terrain mapping

Complex configuration and setup

High-traffic environments cause network latency

Tighter integration with other tools is required

Fidelis Network offers a 15-day free trial, and will schedule a demo before it to show off the system’s capabilities and features.

Best for Zero-Day Exploits

ML-Powered NGFWs for complete visibility

Customized protection with Snort and Suricata signature support

Real-time analysis with enhanced DNS Security Cloud Service

Latest security updates from Advanced WildFire

Ultra low-latency native cloud service

Combined App-ID and User-ID identification technologies

Customized vulnerability signatures

Complete DNS threat coverage

Overly complex implementation for simple configurations

High upfront costs

Palo Alto Networks offers free trials, hands-on demos, and personalized tours for its products and solutions, but does not make its pricing models publicly available. Contact sales for details.

Best for On-Prem and Virtual Networks

Botnet intrusion detection across the network

Enhanced threat correlation with network threat behavior analysis

Inbound and outbound SSL decryption

East-west network visibility

Both signature-based and signature-less intrusion detection

Unified physical and virtual security

Maximum security and performance (scalability up to 100 Gbps)

Shared licensing and throughput model

Older variants and models still exist

Confusion pricing options

High rates of false positives

Schedule a demo to learn whether Trellix meets specific requirements. The vendor does not make pricing models publicly available; contact sales.

When deciding on an intrusion prevention system, make sure the features and capabilities match specific needs. Key features include the following:

Proactive threat detection and prompt incident response require real-time visibility. Timely alerts help implement preventive measures before any significant damage to the security posture. Advanced IPSs have real-time monitoring capabilities to identify potential vulnerabilities and minimize the impact of security incidents.

Intrusion prevention systems cannot operate in isolation. For the efficient protection of the entire business security infrastructure, they must integrate with other security solutions and platforms for a coordinated response. This also helps with the centralized management of security incidents.

There are mainly two types of intrusion detection: network-based and host-based. While network-based intrusion detection examines and analyzes the network traffic for vulnerabilities, host-based intrusion detection checks individual systems like servers, endpoints, or particular assets.

Automatic updates can help ensure an IPS adapt to the continuously evolving threat landscape of new threats and newly discovered vulnerabilities. They can also help keep pace with changing compliance and regulatory requirements and implement the latest security patches.

Threat intelligence helps an IPS enhance detection capabilities and minimize vulnerabilities with efficient mitigation strategies. With threat intelligence capabilities, IPS solutions access timely and actionable information to develop effective response strategies.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing an IPS:

There are broadly four types of IPS configurations depending on the network environment, security policies, and requirements where they will be implemented: network-based, host-based, wireless, and network behavior analysis system. Multiple configurations can also support complex pathways.

Intrusion prevention systems use different detection techniques to identify malicious activities—primarily signature-based, anomaly-based, and protocol-based. Signature-based detection helps detect consistent cyber threat patterns from a static list of known signatures, while anomaly-based detection can detect abnormalities within normal activity patterns. Protocol-based systems offer the flexibility to set references for benign protocol activities.

Intrusion prevention systems can be integrated using dedicated hardware and software, or incorporated within existing enterprise security controls. Businesses that don’t want to upgrade system architecture or invest in products or resources can rely on managed service providers for security, but an IPS purchased and installed on the network offers more control and authority.

Intrusion detection systems help detect security incidents and threats and send alerts to the Security Operations Center (SOC). Issues are investigated by security personnel and countermeasures executed accordingly. Essentially, they’re monitoring tools. While intrusion prevention systems also detect potential threats and malicious incidents, they automatically take appropriate actions, making them highly proactive, control-based cybersecurity solutions.

Intrusion prevention systems are key to enterprise security as they help prevent serious and sophisticated attacks. Some of the key benefits of IPS for businesses are:

Reduced strain on IT teams through automated response

Customized security controls as per requirements

Improved performance by filtering out malicious traffic

In order to provide an objective and comprehensive comparison of the various IPSs available in the market, we followed a structured research methodology. We defined evaluation criteria, conducted market research, collected data on each solution, evaluated and scored them, cross-verified our findings, and documented the results. Additionally, we considered user reviews and feedback to gain valuable insights into the real-world performance and customer satisfaction of each intrusion prevention solution.

The top intrusion prevention systems all work to protect enterprise networks from the ever-present, always evolving threat of cyberattack, but some stand out for different use cases. Selecting the right one will depend on the organization’s security needs, goals, and budget. Regular evaluation and updates are crucial to staying ahead of evolving threats and ensuring a robust security posture—the right IPS can enhance network security, protect sensitive data, and safeguard a business against potential cyber threats.

How To Choose The Right Sd Card For Your Android Device

The storage your phone came with is just not cutting it anymore. You need more space for more apps, pictures, videos, etc. Before you go ahead and just by an SD card for your Android phone, there are some things to keep in mind.

It’s not as easy as just grabbing one with the capacity you want. You need to make sure that the SD card is compatible with your device. You also need to look at things such as relative speed, rated speed, etc.

The Difference Between SDXC, MicroSD, and SDHC

Before deciding which of these three SD cards you want to get, you need to make sure that your phone can support them. Also, think about your needs. What do you need the SD card for?

For example, if you just want extra space for your pictures and video then you should be OK with an SDHC MicroSD card. This card can store files from that up anywhere between 2GB to 23GB in size.

The SDXC (eXtended capacity), on the other hand, can store between 32GB to 2TB. Keep in mind that you can use new cards on an older phone that was just not designed to support them.

As an honorable mention, you could also go for the MicroSD card, but that only holds up to 2GB. That’s usually never enough anyway.

How to Choose the Right SD Card Speed

When choosing an SD card, speed is also important. When shopping for an SD card you’re going to run into Class 2, Class 4, Class 6, and Class 10. The speeds for these cards are the following:

Class 2 – 2MBps minimum

Class 4 – 4MBps minimum

Class 6 – 6MBps minimum

Class 10 – 10MBps minimum

U1 UHS Speed Class cards have a speed of at least 10 MBps and a U3 of at least 30 MBps. You can see the speed in megabytes per second and speeds are based on a best-case scenario. Make sure that your phone supports UHS-1 AND UH-3 since not all of them support it.

The Different SD Card Sizes

Make sure that the card you get is the right size for your phone. There are three distinct sizes to consider:

Micro size – 11mm x 15mm

Mini size – 31.5mm x 20mm

Standard – 32mm x 24mm

I think it’s pretty obvious that your Android phone is going to need the MicroSD size. But, it’s good to keep this information handy if you’ re going to be shopping online. Check your phone’s manual to see what cards are compatible with your phone.

What Card Video Addicts Should Get

If you mainly want an SD card for all those videos you record, then the best card you can get is a Class 10. Class 10 is suitable for full HD recording and continuous HD recording, Class 4 and 6 is also good for HD.

Remember to check your device’s minimum requirements. If your device needs a card with a 50x and you buy one with a 40x, then the card is not going to work properly. If you have a phone that can record in 4K the best card you can get is a UHS Class card.

What Card a Photo Addict Should Get

If the only reason you’re getting an SD card is to make room for more pictures, then focus on the storage of the card. If you take a lot of Raw images then the high the capacity SD card is a better choice for you. One raw image is about 25MB in size.

By getting a 16GB card, you’re going to be able to store about 650 pictures. So, if you know you’re going to take more RAW images than that, you know that 16GB is not enough.

Always Choose Well-Known Brands

Has an SD card you purchased simply stopped working? If you buy cheap imitation cards, this is something that’s going to repeat itself.

By purchasing known brands, you’ll be able to choose between cards that are waterproof, shockproof, and that are even protected against the airport’s X-ray machines.

What’s even better is that brand name SD cards come with a warranty, so if they were to stop working too soon, you can get your money back or a replacement.

Conclusion

Don’t let all the information about SD cards scare you. The only things you need to keep in mind is what you need it for and what kind of card your phone can support.

Business Analytics Vs. Data Science – Which One To Choose?

Organizations rely on valuable insights to drive their success in today’s data-driven world. Business Analytics and Data Science are two key disciplines at the forefront of this data revolution. Similarly, professionals in the roles of Business Analyst vs Data Scientist play crucial roles in extracting meaningful insights from data. But what sets them apart? In this article, we delve into the fascinating realms of Business Analytics vs Data Science and explore the distinctive responsibilities and skills of Business Analysts and Data Scientists. Join us as we unravel the power of data and uncover the nuances between these disciplines, shedding light on their respective contributions in leveraging data to make informed business decisions.

What is Business Analysis?

Business Analytics is the practice of using data analysis and statistical methods to derive meaningful insights and make data-driven decisions that optimize business performance. It involves collecting, organizing, and analyzing data from various sources to identify trends, patterns, and correlations. Business analytics focuses on solving specific business problems, improving efficiency, identifying opportunities, and guiding strategic planning by providing actionable insights and recommendations.

To start your business analytics journey, register for our exclusive course on CBAP!

What is Data Science?

Data Science is a multidisciplinary field that combines statistical analysis, machine learning, data visualization, and computer science to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured data. Data scientists employ a combination of data exploration, data preprocessing, predictive modeling, and data visualization techniques to uncover patterns, make predictions, and gain valuable insights that drive decision-making and solve complex problems across various industries. Data science encompasses the entire data lifecycle, from data collection and cleaning to analysis and interpretation.

The skills and tools required to make a career in Business Analytics and Data Science differ to a great extent. Here is the list of the same for both profiles:

Business Analytics

Business Analytics professionals must be proficient in presenting business simulations and business planning. A large part of their role would be to analyze business trends. For eg, web analytics/pricing analytics.

Some of the tools used extensively in business analytics are Excel, Tableau, SQL, Python. The most commonly used techniques are – Statistical Methods, Forecasting, Predictive Modeling and storytelling.

Data Science

A data scientist must be proficient in Linear algebra, programming, computer science fundamentals. Some examples of data science projects vary from building recommendation engines to personalized E-mails.

The common tools of a data scientist are R, Python, scikit-learn, Keras, PyTorch and the most widely used techniques are Statistics, Machine Learning, Deep Learning, NLP, CV.

And for both the roles, structure thinking, and problem formulation is a key skill to do well in their respective domain.

Data Science vs Business Analytics Business Analyst vs. Data Scientist – Role & Skills

Let us take an example of an exciting electrical vehicle startup. This startup is now big for creating job families. And, they have decided to create three job families, one is a scientist, and the other two are an engineer and a management professional. Now I want you to take time and imagine what kind of role they play in the company.

We can infer their role from the general level of understanding:

Engineer – Take these developments and apply industry techniques to transform them into production. For example, making an assembly line to manufacture these vehicles using the right machinery.

Management – Run the business and solve business-related problems on a day-to-day basis. For example, to find the right market to open a store for the vehicle. Decisions regarding the sales and marketing of these products and many others.

Now, let’s take these roles and convert it to data-based profiles.

Business Analyst vs Data Scientist Data Scientist vs Data Engineer vs Business Analyst

Data Scientist –  He Works on complex and specific problems to bring non-linear growth to the company. For example, making a credit risk solution for the banking industry or use images of vehicles & assess the damage for an insurance company automatically.

Data Engineer – He would Implement the outcomes derived by the data scientist in production by using industry best practices. For example, Deploying the machine learning model built for credit risk modeling on  banking software.

Business Analyst – Run the business and take decisions on a day-to-day basis. He’ll be communicating with the IT side and the business side simultaneously.

This is a very basic analogy that you need to keep in mind to differentiate the role of Data Scientist, Business Analyst, and Data Engineer.

Caution: These terms are losely used in the industry. The exact role can depend on the maturity of your organization in data initiatives.

Now that we have our basic analogy clear, let us see the kinds of problem solved by data scientists and business analysts.

Business Analyst vs Data Scientist – Job Role

To understand the difference between a business analyst and a data scientist, it is imperative to understand the problems or projects they work on. Let us take up an interesting example. Imagine that you are a manager of a bank and you decide to implement two important projects. You have a team of a data scientist and a business analyst. How will you do the project mapping job? Below are two problem statements:

Build a business plan to decide how many employees a bank needs to do XXX business in 2023

Build a model to predict which transaction is Fraudulent

Take your time to understand the problems. What do you think, which problem is best suited for which profile?

The first problem statement requires making several business assumptions and incorporating macro changes into the strategy. This will require more business expertise and decision making, this will be the job of a business analyst.

The second problem statement requires processing vast behavioral data from customers and understanding hidden patterns. For this, the professional should have a very good understanding of problem formulation and algorithms. A data scientist will be a suitable person to tackle this kind of specific and complex problem.

Which Career Path to Choose – Data Science or Business Analytics?

A Data scientist’s strengths lie in coding, mathematics, and research abilities and require continuous learning along the career journey whereas a business analyst needs to be more of a strategic thinker and have a strong ability in project management.

Business Analyst tends to take business roles, strategic roles, and entrepreneurship roles as they progress through career while we notice that data scientist are more of tech entrepreneur roles as they have a strong technical background.

You can refer to the following career path to see a more in-depth route from the start of data science and business analytics journey:

Final Verdict

To further enhance your skills and gain a competitive edge in Business Analytics, consider enrolling in our Certified Business Analytics Professional (CBAP) program. This comprehensive program equips you with the necessary knowledge and practical expertise to become a proficient Business Analyst adept at translating data insights into actionable strategies.

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