Last month, we discussed how to choose the right Microsoft software to suit your company’s needs. This month, we’ll explore how to select the right anti-virus software for your business with an anti-virus checklist.
The Internet of Everything has amplified the amount of corporate data being transferred between devices with mobility, cloud services, and virtualization solutions. With mobile and big data trends, the threat of malware is growing exponentially with more cyber criminals looking to get into company and client data than ever.
Criminal breaches have increased by 62% within the past two years alone. While this may not concern your company, it’s interesting to note that 77% of data breaches happen at companies with less than 1000 employees, yet 85% of small to medium-sized businesses think data breach is unlikely.
Not only are the chances of data breach high, so are the costs. Costs for incidents at small to medium-sized businesses cost an average of $50,000 and $720,000 at enterprise-level companies. These hefty fees include the cost of IT support to resolve the incident and IT services to implement preventative measures, as well as the loss of business opportunity. The damage done to businesses’ reputations and data breach fallout in these instances is immeasurable. See how much data breach could cost your company with IBM’s Data Breach Calculator.
Beyond Anti-Virus Protection
The traditional way of protecting your company from malware by installing basic anti-malware and firewall software doesn’t pass today’s security requirements. With companies using mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops, tablets, and USBs, basic anti-virus software simply isn’t enough anymore.
The choices for anti-virus software can be overwhelming with many levels and add-ons. The good news is that these options are packaged to provide all-encompassing protection to fill the gaps in security caused by different endpoint devices.
An all-in-one solution is required for companies to protect themselves against malware. When choosing an all-inclusive anti-virus solution, it’s important to ensure you check off the following items:
1. Reputable – Ensure the anti-virus is from a well-known solution provider. You’ll want to partner with a company that will provide a solid solution with continued IT support and updates to keep your data safe. Free and no-name anti-virus solutions most often fail to meet security criteria for businesses today with limited protection ability.
2. Compatible – Make sure the anti-virus isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution and can adapt to your business needs as they evolve. Out-of-the-box solutions do not fit businesses properly and leave gaps between security applications and policies, which is an invitation for any malware or virus.
3. Integrated – Anti-virus software is deployed from a central location and fills the gaps in security management between different devices. Having centralized software streamlines processes, which means less time and cost is required to keep maintenance up-to-date, and less worry over potential security gaps. The solution should also provide patch management, vulnerability scans, and imaging/provisioning to verify there’s no room for “break and enter.”
4. Frequent – Anti-virus software should be updated every hour or two to give real-time protection against threats as they emerge. Often, software only scans once a week, however, this leaves too much time for viruses or malware to enter and manifest. Choose anti-virus that has the ability to do a quick scan every hour or two and a full deep scan once each week.
5. Mobile – anti-virus software should include management of mobile devices (smartphones, laptops, tablets, and USBs) to secure all of your bases. Mobile devices are most threatened by malware and viruses, and should be safeguarded to ensure nothing gets into the company’s network. With current Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trends, this is especially important to standardize security measures.
By checking off these five steps to a total anti-virus solution, you’re adding layered protection around your company. In addition to these minimum requirements to safeguard company data and programs, there are advanced security options such as encryption, license management, and network administration. These options are not essential for all businesses. However, if you do not have IT support and require software and asset management, or if your company requires the best protection for each network level, these options will meet your unique needs.
Solid anti-virus software maximizes efficiency, and reduces business risk and the complexity of keeping your network safe. Anti-virus shouldn’t break the bank, and it shouldn’t cause a headache. By thinking beyond simple anti-virus software and about your entire network, and all of the devices, users, and applications in it, the best solution is an all-in-one solution that meets reputation, compatibility, integration, frequency, and mobility requirements.
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