One of the quirks of human nature is that when it comes to disasters, we tend to believe that ‘it’ll never happen to me’. Does this sound familiar to you?
Do you hold the same attitude towards your computing devices? Do you believe that while your friends and colleagues might experience virus or malware attacks, you never will? You aren’t the only one: many people believe that they don’t need a virus protection programme installed on their computers, or that a basic ‘free’ antivirus solution will suffice. Well, think again.
The harsh reality is that the incidences of computer users experiencing malware attacks that compromise, corrupt or destroy data and expose confidential information to less than savoury characters increase daily.
We live in a hyper-connected world; almost every consumer with a ‘smart’ device is constantly connected to the internet and is continually broadcasting messages to the world. Modern communication and transactions are instant and easy.
Unfortunately, it’s equally easy for cyber-criminals to conduct their business. Think about it: it’s a lot easier, safer and more profitable to pursue criminal activities in the knowledge that it’s almost impossible to be apprehended than if you were to physically rob a bank.
Here are six common myths about business antivirus solutions:
1. I don’t need a business antivirus solution because I’ve never been attacked by a virus.
Devices with ineffective business antivirus solutions are much more likely to be exposed than those with effective security in place. Hackers and cybercriminals use sophisticated software to seek out unprotected devices. In the physical world, this would be like a burglar targeting a house with no alarm system in place in preference to the house next door with an alarm and electric fence.
2. I use a Mac computer and Macs don’t get viruses.
Although Mac viruses are few and far between – potentially because of the small market share relative to PCs – they do indeed succumb to viruses. The Mac user base is growing and will become a bigger target for cybercrime.
3. I use a freeware virus solution that protects me perfectly.
In fact, some free antivirus applications actually contain malware themselves – sometimes by design. In any event, most free applications are not timeously updated with all of the most current virus patterns and thus will not provide any protection at all.
4. My business is safe because we don’t download anything from the internet.
It’s virtually impossible to be sure that you’re not downloading anything from the net; every time you transact, data is flowing back and forth. In fact, approximately one in every 284 emails contains malware in some form (source: My Happy Computer).
5. I won’t get infected as I have a recognised business antivirus solution installed locally on my hard drive.
Whilst this does reduce the risk of infection, there are real limitations to on-premise business antivirus solutions. On-premise solutions constantly require updating to ensure that the most current malware can be detected. The problem is that, due to the huge volume of known malware, new pattern downloads often need to ‘drop-off’ old and uncommon virus patterns by necessity. This leaves you completely exposed to an old virus that may arrive attached to an email.
6. I’d rather not install a business antivirus application as it will just slow down my computer and some of my existing applications may stop working.
Actually, all business antivirus solutions must be properly configured and maintained to ensure that they are efficient, effective and do not cause conflicts with legitimate applications. Speed and conflict issues are almost always caused either by incorrect configuration or hardware problems.
So, what’s the answer?
The most effective and efficient business antivirus applications are those that are ‘hosted in the cloud’. Cloud-hosted solutions offer the following great advantages:
1. The malware or virus pattern database is always up to date.
2. There’s no need to ever download new versions of the solution as all downloads are checked against the online pattern database.
3. Old viruses never get dropped off the database, so you’re always protected against malware, no matter how old it is.
4. Device management and reporting can be remotely accessed, no matter where your device is, and you’re always protected, even if you’re not connected to your office domain.
5. Cloud-hosted business antivirus solutions usually offer other great facilities to enhance device protection and productivity. These facilities can include website filtering and device control (blocking others from copying data off your device).