Ask an IT Guy: I Have the Best Business Antivirus – I’m Secure, Right?
With the number of security threats going around today, business executives have security on their minds.
While most don’t argue about the need for antivirus, (yes, I’m looking at you Mac users), does having the best business antivirus solution mean you’re protected from all IT security threats? No.
There are several pieces to the security puzzle that MUST be in place to secure your company. Missing even one of the pieces opens your business up to thousands of threats. Antivirus is one of many pieces.
John Leete, CIO (Chief Information Officer) at Accent Computer Solutions, Inc., spoke to us about how using antivirus helps keep your system safe, secure, and ties into your overall security plan.
What Is Antivirus?
Starting with the basics, what is antivirus?
Simply put, it’s a silent partner in your system’s defense. Its whole purpose is to detect, delete and destroy malicious viruses from entering your computer.
“Viruses are very dangerous, and every computer should have an antivirus solution. There is no way around it. It flies under the radar, and has surely saved your system more times than you can count.”
How Antivirus Should Be Managed by Your IT Department or Outsourced IT Support Provider
In security, you’re only as secure as your last update. It should be no surprise that antivirus is the same way. It has to be properly managed on a daily basis to provide any value at all.
“The challenge for many IT departments is resources. Basic, routine tasks can unintentionally fall by the wayside. When making a call between managing antivirus or solving the CEO’s email issue, I’m sure you can guess which one usually takes priority. Antivirus isn’t less important; it just seems less urgent.”
Executives should ask who monitors the daily, weekly, or monthly reports. Can you track where your last virus was contracted or which device(s) it came from? Have you setup any alert system(s) that bring immediate attention to breaches? When was the last time your antivirus was updated?
If you’re not confident that your IT professionals can answer these questions, your system could be left open to potential threats.
Managing antivirus takes time and discipline. It’s also monotonous and repetitive.
Outsourcing some of these routine tasks to a managed IT services provider helps keep the company secure and keeps your IT department focused on higher-level tasks.
When working with a managed IT provider, it becomes “set it and forget it” on your end. You and the provider set the rules, and you attend to business as usual. The IT provider handles the rest.
“IT providers have a different set of tools than your average IT department. So, we’re able to monitor and manage it more efficiently. These tools allow us to spot a machine that gets infected or calculate threats per-machine. Instead of trying to individually update each computer, we update them all at once. Because it’s centrally managed, we can make any setting change, through a program or application, and test almost anything.
This is something that is done in the background, behind the scenes. It doesn’t typically take too long, and won’t interrupt your business day at all. There is no interruption to your workflow. We run the antivirus scan nightly, and it is updated every week.”
What’s The Best Antivirus Solution For Businesses?
“The best antivirus for your company is whichever business-class antivirus solution that you will manage. There are a ton of options, so pick the one that meets your goals. Choosing one that allows for central management lets your IT team update all at once, instead of at every workstation individually. This saves your IT department countless hours.
Some solutions to look into are Bitdefender, Avast, Norton, McAfee, Symantec, and the like. There are many other great ones on the market too. Again, you'll need a business-class version. Not the free or home version.
We have a hosted antivirus solution that we roll out to all of our clients as part of our IT service program. It’s the one we’ve found that covers the needs of us and our clients.
When you’re picking your outsourced arrangement and your antivirus solution, you’ll want to be clear on whether the licensing for antivirus is included in the “per month” price as we do, or if the licensing and services will be billed separately.”
All My Stuff Is in The Cloud – Do I Still Need Antivirus?
The Cloud is changing how we do business, but it’s not changing how you secure your system or devices. And while your Cloud services are truly doing their best to protect themselves from malicious viruses and other threats, those protections don’t always keep YOU safe.
“Even if your Cloud service has the best antivirus in the world, it is not scanning your system for infections. It’s not making sure that your devices, or endpoints as we call them in the IT world, are all secure when accessing your Cloud services.”
Security threats today are coming from all angles – worms spreading through networks, ransomware spreading through emails, adware from surfing the web, etc. Companies need to do their best to secure their systems by putting together all pieces of the security puzzle.
Antivirus is just one piece to your security puzzle, but it’s a critical one.
Whether your internal IT department takes care of it, or if you outsource it to a managed IT services provider, make sure someone is managing your security.
Ask an IT Guy
We know that sometimes, figuring out the question is harder than finding the answer.
Ask an IT Guy was created with you in mind. This bi-monthly series will help you get to the bottom of IT questions you didn't even know you had.
Have a question? Ask us anything in the comments and we'll answer it in a future Ask an IT Guy post!
About Accent Computer Solutions
Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. is a managed IT services and IT support provider, serving businesses with 30-500 employees throughout Southern California. The company is headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, California, with IT professionals strategically located throughout San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties, as well as Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana.