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Don't rely on Antivirus alone!

It’s all too common these days to think we can simply buy a one-size-fits-all solution and then forget about the problem we were trying to solve. And there is probably no situation where this applies more than when it comes to IT security. For many organisations today the extent of IT security is ticking the ‘antivirus’ box and then feeling quietly smug. Until someone in the team accidentally downloads some malware or hackers manage to access systems and install ransomware. And then suddenly, the deficiency of relying on antivirus alone becomes painfully clear. If you don’t want to end up in this unenviable position then read on.

It’s not a question of if, but when:

Your business will be targeted at some point. One recent survey found that almost 50% of businesses had suffered an actual cyber breach in 2020. Those in the medium sized category were even more likely to be a target. This should provide all the evidence you need that relying purely on antivirus alone is a fool’s game and likely to mean your business ends up in the wrong statistics. Yes, robust antivirus software is important but it’s not going to be effective if it’s the only line of defence that you have.

Why can’t you just rely on antivirus?

Because hackers and cyber criminals rarely take a day off. If you’ve been smart enough to download antivirus protection then you have set up a way to protect against known viruses - and that’s a great start. However, it’s not going to do anything if the virus that is used against your network isn’t known - under those circumstances your antivirus protection might simply wave it through with no inkling that this is actually a brand new, vicious (albeit relatively unknown) threat. There are also lots of clever ways that hackers can bypass antivirus protection too so it’s vital to have more layers of protection in place. And then there are the statistics that show that, even those who have antivirus, still suffer cyber breaches.

What else do you need to do to protect your business?

On top of robust antivirus protection, it’s also essential to ensure that you’ve got other measures in place too. This could include spam/email filters, ad/pop up blockers and an endpoint detection and response platform. 90% of breaches are the result of human error so it’s also going to be vital to educate and train your team. You might want to consider the following:

  • Physically restricting access.
  • Network protection, such as local area network switches, firewalls and intrusion prevention systems.
  • Using two-factor authentication for password management.
  • Ensuring you have effective business continuity and disaster recovery planning in place.
  • Security policies and guidelines so your team knows what is expected of them.

Antivirus is vital protection, yes, but it’s not the only one that you need - and to rely on this alone will leave your business very exposed in a world where hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities.

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Written by:
Tom Lejava
20 April 2023