Don’t Waste Your Money on Antivirus … Invest It
October 24, 2012
Wait a minute: are we, a technical services company that specializes in IT security, advising your business to forget about antivirus protection? Do we really agree with this provocative Wired article, “Is Antivirus Software a Waste of Money?”
Yes, and no. Let us explain.
A cheap (or “free”) product slapped across office computers with no thought to its effectiveness or upkeep offers a false sense of security, subtly encouraging risky online behavior. A download here, a click there ... inevitably, a security lapse will happen.
When it does, the company has little or no resources to draw on in fixing the problem. The cost of clean up will outweigh any initial savings.
So yes, we agree: don’t waste your money on antivirus. Instead, we encourage companies to invest in a multilayered security plan that’s built from a variety of tools across the full spectrum of your business IT (and yes, that includes antivirus).
Think of your business IT security like your 401(k). You wouldn’t depend on dumb luck to pick your investments or bet your retirement on the continued health of one company (at least, we hope you wouldn’t!) Likewise, your business shouldn’t depend on a single purchase to secure all its valuable digital assets.
A good security plan should be built around your business needs, so planning is essential. Here are some of the questions we consider when helping a client begin a security plan:
- How many workstations will you need to secure?
- How much access to online services and websites should each person have?
- What about backups, and encrypting sensitive information?
- What steps should the company follow if a network breach happens?
Then there’s the implementation. After all, you don’t want all your computers to be tied up by a massive software update during a work day (file that as another potential pitfall of a “cheap” product). Someone will need to be responsible for maintaining the proper credentials and service licenses for such updates and eventual upgrades, and for speaking with the provider should any problems occur.
Don’t count out the human factor in any of this technical discussion either. Even the most fortified castle can’t defend against someone on the inside unlocking the door. Constant monitoring ensures that any such vulnerability (whether purposeful or accidental) is discovered and handled promptly. Not to mention it’s nice to have tech support call to report a fix rather than the other way around.
Our layered approach positions antivirus alongside other security tools to form a protective barrier guarding your computers, server, email, and data. We’ve got recommendations for good antivirus programs, and encourage you to do the research to find the right tool for your business.
If you need help determining the best course for your business, we can help get your research started. Just pick up the phone or fill in our contact form to get started.