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Is Antivirus Really Effective On Business Computers?

antivirusThe New York Times published an interesting article the other day on the health of the antivirus industry and how antivirus software companies were not very good at stopping viruses.

This article as we expected, is causing a stir amongst many of the leaders in the IT security space plus in the media, with pundits from each side voicing their expert opinions on if antivirus software is an important consideration for business. The latest company ESET recently jumped into the fray with their opinion.

Here is what we recommend to business to totally protect their computer environments from viruses, malware and other security threats that face corporations today.

Security must be a multi-layered approach. You simply cannot do one thing and expect great results. Viruses, spam and malware have many ways to reach into the heart of your organization. Email, USB sticks, social media and downloads can penetrate corporate security easily if your network is not set up, monitored and updated regularly.

Emails must be scanned prior to entering the corporate network or email services.  It doesn’t matter if you have a Microsoft Exchange Server on premise or one of the many cloud hosted Exchange services, every piece of email must be run through a thorough scanning process to ensure no threats get through.

Firewalls that offer protection from threats known or unknown is essential. Many of today’s firewall technologies offer a deeper level of scanning and protection versus firewalls from just a few years ago or the network router that you pick up at the local Best Buy or office supply store. These low cost network routers offer a false sense of security. Your business must have a corporate grade firewall that scans all traffic inbound and outbound.

Secure Computing was a dream of Bill Gates a few years back when Microsoft software was “not that secure”. Gates started the “trustworthy computing” initiative at Microsoft to ensure their software was secure. Did they reach this goal? Desktop computers and network servers also need to be kept as secure as possible. Desktop and Server antivirus solutions, or what they call today “endpoint protection” is just another layer in your company’s overall IT security strategy.

Desktop and Server solutions, regardless of make, model or operating system (Apple, Linux or Microsoft) need to be monitored and patched regularly. This ensures all known or potential vulnerabilities in the software are addressed, lowering the risk of a hacker being able to exploit poorly written code or security issues in software.

The last line of defense is you, the computer user. Many people fall victims to social engineering (which requires no malware, virus or malicious code). Thousands of computer users each day across the country openly share important personal details with hackers over the phone, through email and through phishing websites, set up to trick a user into handing over account information, credit card info and other personal information.

So is antivirus dead? Maybe the form of antivirus we used in the early 2000’s where viruses came on floppy disks is, however many of the top IT security firms have changed their approach offering business multi-layer security services supported by IT security professionals such as our team.

Are you concerned about your IT security or worried about viruses hitting your business network? Give us a call and speak with us about your network security. We are here to help.

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