Some people are reluctant to spend money on paid anti-virus software when there are free options available. In fact, many of these free programs offer a level of protection and shouldn't be discounted, especially for the home user. However, if you are in business you will probably want to take advantage of the additional features which paid anti-virus software offers, including a firewall and spam filtering.
Itâs always interesting to discover which anti-virus software security specialists, and indeed hackers, believe offers you the best level of protection. Take a look at this expert round-up guide on anti-virus by Cheeky Munkey.
The Benefits of Anti-Virus Software
So letâs look first at the benefits of anti-virus software.
-· First if it has a firewall built in it prevents many hackers and spammers gaining access to your network in the first place
-· The anti-virus software and malware detection element is then there to recognise and quarantine malicious programs. This is important within a business as your employees can easily access a website which contains malware or unwittingly open an attachment in a phishing email
-· Anti-virus software also guards against spyware and identity theft, which is important to protect not only your own business, but your clients and employees. It is essential if you carry out online business banking
-· Spam is also a huge problem and a big time waster within business and anti-virus software can guard against this too
-· Some businesses will need to use anti-virus software to comply with industry regulations, for example in the finance sector
Anti-virus software isnât infallible as hackers are working continually to outwit the system and sometimes malware evolves faster than the software in place to protect against it. Therefore, itâs helpful to put additional levels of security in place in some sectors of your business.
-· Sensitive data including client records, financial data and employee records can be stored securely by a document management service
-· You can also put additional levels of security in place with your banking service, so for example they need to call you before any large transactions are made. This will prevent fraud should your banking passwords be breached
-· Hacking doesnât always happen on your own PC or network, where your anti-virus software can protect you, so you also need to think about the wider picture. If your company uses any social media profiles, saves data to the cloud or even uses a mobile application, these too are just as vulnerable to attack. Therefore, you need to take additional precautions in those areas to ensure they remain as safe as possible. For example, accessing your network on your mobile phone from a free Wi-Fi source leaves you open to all kinds of vulnerabilities as it is unlikely to be secure.
The Human Element
It also shouldnât be forgotten that anti-virus software relies on human intervention to ensure it does its job. Itâs easy to forget to update the software or to miss a scan, so set these to run automatically so you are always up to date. You should also make sure your staff regularly update their passwords and ensure they choose complex ones which comprise a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and characters. Itâs even worth checking the strength of your passwords to see just how secure they are. With hackers using sophisticated algorithm software to crack passwords, you will be surprised how quickly they can be broken.
Overall there is no doubt that anti-virus software is an essential tool in your arsenal, however it is important to remember it is only one part of the equation. While it is definitely worth the investment in anti-virus software to guard against malicious programs already out there, you will also need to employ other tactics to stay one step ahead of those intent on mining your data or causing chaos in your business.
This blog is listed under IT Security & Architecture Community