Your guide to anti-virus software

Dec. 9th 2020

How does it work, and do you really need it?

Anti-virus software is one of the most widely misunderstood products out there. Many people – even those making IT decisions for businesses or educational institutions – think it’s no longer needed, it doesn’t really work or their current anti-virus software will never need to change.

But that’s far from the truth. Anti-virus protection is essential for every business, school and university. It’s not all you need to protect yourself, but it’s a key layer in your data security strategy.

If you’re running a business or school, it’s probably time to take a good look at your anti-virus protection. Here’s what you need to know:

Anti-virus basics

Anti-virus software is designed to prevent an outside virus entering your computer system and bringing down your entire network. It works by continuously scanning files, programmes and applications on your network and comparing the code to samples stored in its database. If it finds code that matches a sample, it’s considered malware and is removed from your device.

Although traditional anti-virus programmes can’t necessarily protect against sophisticated new malware and cybercrime, newer solutions are constantly being developed to help keep your data safe. These use a range of methods to scan incoming files and prevent attacks before they happen.

Risks and costs

Some business owners think they don’t need to use anti-virus software – but most would find it pretty difficult to function without access to key business data. Unfortunately, that could be the reality if your network is infected with a virus. The costs associated with your staff being unable to work for days, or having private customer information exposed to the public, far outweigh the cost of maintaining anti-virus software.

Even if you don’t open emails or download attachments from untrusted sources, you can’t guarantee that no unsafe files will enter your system. This is particularly true if you have a large number of staff or students using your network – even with thorough education around online safety, there’s always the chance that someone will click on the wrong link or download the wrong attachment. Clients can share corrupted files, and even the humble USB stick can be a source of malware.

New protection for new problems 

Unlike older anti-virus software, which took up precious storage space on your device and required frequent updates, newer versions are streamlined and simple to manage.

Isometric’s anti-virus product runs in the background and has a small footprint – it’s won’t take up half the space on your device. It’s easy to install and updates automatically, so you know it’s always providing as much protection as possible. With full reporting on all your business devices, it gives you vital information about risky data sources and emerging threats before they can cause issues for your business or school.

Of course, virus protection is only one element of an effective data security strategy, with things like password logins, secure cloud or server data storage and two-factor authentication on devices adding more layers of protection.

Time for an upgrade

With the end of the year approaching and work winding down, it’s a great time to look at your virus protection. Staff or students will be away for at least some of the summer, giving you plenty of time to manage implementation.

Upgrading your anti-virus software helps protect you against a growing list of cyber threats, so you’re less likely to have an embarrassing data breach or expensive downtime. Although it’s not a complete security solution, it is a key part of protecting your business.

If you’re using an older system, or you’ve let your virus protection lapse altogether, we can help get you up to speed. And if other elements of your security plan need work, we can help build a solid strategy to keep your network safe.

Sort out your network security now.

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