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Tech Alert: Antivirus Best Practices

Antivirus Best Practices

You have antivirus, right? Of course you do! (I hope.) And while it in of itself is an excellent step, it’s not the end of the story. Having antivirus is only one step toward protecting your company.

Engineers at Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. work daily with small to mid-size business to ensure that their antivirus is doing not only what it should, but also that it is running correctly.

And while we are glad you have antivirus, let’s explore why simply having it is not enough, and how to make sure that the one you have is running on all cylinders.

3 Steps to Your Best Business Antivirus

Like mentioned above, it’s great to have antivirus in general, but there is more to it. If you want to make sure that your antivirus is doing all it can, talk to your IT team about the following guidelines. And who knows – they might already be practicing them!

1. Enterprise Grade Antivirus Solution

“Enterprise Grade” is a fancy way of saying business-class antivirus. Your solution grade matters because if you use a free or home version, you won’t be able to centrally manage your antivirus.

Think about it like this: your IT department is already busy. If they had to update each computer manually it would take forever – not to mention the likelihood of them missing one. When your IT provider can update behind the scenes, there is no interruption to our business day or workflow. It also gives you peace of mind that all workstations and devices are safe. Lucky for you, there are a ton of options.

Picking the right enterprise grade antivirus for your business needs can be a bit tricky. Just like in life, having a lot of choices seems great until you have to pick one. Personally, we offer our clients a hosted antivirus as part of our service for free. If that isn’t your arrangement, work with your IT team to figure out which is best for you.

Bonus: Be clear about licensing. Is it a per-month or annual price? Charged per-device or per-user? Etc.

2. Keep Antivirus Up-to-Date

You are only as safe as your last update. When was the last time your antivirus was updated? Antivirus does you no good if it’s not properly managed, and the second part of maintaining it is to make sure it is updated.

As hackers get smarter and find more workarounds, your antivirus needs to grow to combat them. But you shouldn’t wait to update once you’ve been hit. Take measures to prevent it from happening in the first place. That’s why updating your antivirus is so important. Your antivirus should be what the IT world calls a “proactive measure” in your security. Meaning, it’s working BEFORE something bad happens.

Bottom Line: If you want to be safe and avoid cleaning up a massive breach, keep your antivirus up to date. You’ll be working smarter while it’s working harder. 

3. Centralized Antivirus Updates and Monitoring System

The thing about antivirus is that it takes time and is VERY monotonous.

Your IT professional should have a schedule in place to track things like daily, weekly or monthly monitor reports. This would include tracking where your last virus was contracted – including which device or workstation it came from. Antivirus management takes work; it is not a "set it and forget it" software.

Work with your managed IT service provider to create a schedule or a check list of what needs to be done weekly and monthly to keep your antivirus running smoothly. An example would be running a nightly scan, or a mid-day scan, with weekly updates. First, figure out your company’s needs and execute those requirements in a scheduled timely manner. 

This should include how you monitor system alerts. What happens when security breaches occur? Who is alerted? This should all be well documented and available for your staff and IT department. Think about this check list as the fire safety route for your system. Just like your employees need to know their exits, your system should be aware of how to protect you.   

Security threats today are no joke. Ransomware is at an all-time high, making sure you are protected is a job all its own. Securing your system is about utilizing layered security measures, including antivirus, in the right way. Whether your internal IT department takes care of it, or if you outsource it to a managed IT services provider, make sure someone is actively managing your security. 


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Related: IT Untangled: Antivirus vs. Anti-Malware - What's the Difference