Quick Marty! Hop into the DeLorean! Let’s time travel back to a simpler time, back in the late 90’s!
Back then, you could walk into any store that sold software and you’d see two types of antivirus protection - orange boxes that said Norton, and red boxes that said McAfee.
Today, like most things, life isn’t as simple. There are a lot of choices, and… well, you shouldn’t be going to a store to buy your antivirus these days. Let’s discuss!
Almost everyone knows they need some sort of antivirus protection on their PC. Depending on the vendor, most new PCs usually come with a free trial preinstalled. There are also plenty of freemium antivirus applications out there. So, what’s the deal, and how do you make a decision for your business?
Antivirus works by scanning files, and checking to see if any code within the file matches with a known virus signature. They tend to do this in the background, but you can also manually run a scan to detect anything that the ever-present background scan missed.
New strains of viruses and malware are constantly being developed by hackers and cybercriminals. It’s estimated that as many as 100,000 new malware programs are created on a daily basis. If your antivirus software isn’t regularly kept up-to-date, it won’t know how to detect and deal with new viruses. It’s incredibly important to regularly update your antivirus.
For a home user, any trusted antivirus software is better than nothing. You don’t necessarily need to pay for antivirus to protect your home computer, especially if you are otherwise vigilant about protecting yourself online and backing up your data. A commercial antivirus solution isn’t going to protect you from everything that could possibly go wrong anyway, it’s only designed to protect you from viruses. A freemium or low-cost antivirus is usually enough to protect that home PC.
For your business, it’s a whole different story. If you have a 5-person network, or a 10-person network, or a 500-person network, you need to centralize your antivirus.
This means dishing out the antivirus client from a centralized server, pushing updates out automatically, and scheduling regular scans during off-hours.
You should NEVER rely on your end-users to maintain or update their antivirus.
With a centralized antivirus solution, everything is handled for them, and these types of solutions offer far more protection for a business than the typical consumer-grade protection. Remember, you aren’t just protecting the PCs, you need to worry about your sensitive customer and employee data as well.
It wouldn’t be fair to simply pick a particular antivirus solution and say it would absolutely be a perfect fit for any particular business. You need to take into consideration the industry, compliance requirements, the type of infrastructure already on the network, and a whole slew of other factors before simply purchasing and implementing a network-wide solution.
It’s best to start with a thorough network audit, which is something we are happy to perform for you. If you’d like to get started for your business, give us a call at (208) 329-6792.