Keeping your company secure from online threats is one of the most important strategic IT decisions that small and medium-sized businesses in Ontario can take. That’s because today’s world is increasingly digital.
Your organization’s financial records, customer data, intellectual property and many other pieces of confidential information are all kept across numerous devices on your company’s network.
Yet, with a staggering 350,000 new malicious programs (malware) and other potentially aggressive applications created each day, according to AV-Test, your company’s data is more vulnerable to cybercrime than it has ever been before.
That’s why, along with following some highly important cybersecurity best practices, your business also needs to install an effective antivirus program to protect your data.
With so many options on the market, however, and so many factors to take into account, how can your business ensure it's making the right decision when choosing a new antivirus software?
lp you make the right choice, in this blog OT Group will lay out some important features that your new antivirus software should have. Before we get into that, let’s first take a quick look at what antivirus software actually is and why it’s important for your business.
What is antivirus software?
Antivirus software is a type of computer program that is used to prevent, detect and remove malware and other cybercriminal activity from your organization’s computers. It does this by looking at the data that’s travelling over the network to your devices.
By searching for known threats and monitoring the behaviour of programs on your computer, antivirus software is able to flag suspicious program behaviour and block or remove activity when a potential threat is found.
Essential functions of an antivirus software, include:
- Scanning specific files and programs for malware.
- The ability for scheduled scans to run automatically.
- The ability for manual scans on specific programs or files.
- The removal of malicious files and programs once a threat is detected.
- Analytics that show the health of your computer.
Why you need antivirus software for your business
Many small and medium-sized businesses wrongly believe that cybercriminals have larger businesses to target. What they don’t realize is that these large companies have much bigger budgets to invest in cybersecurity measures.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals know that. That’s why, according to CNBC, 43 percent of online attacks are now aimed at small businesses - a favourite target of cybercriminals.
Yet according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, half of small business owners (50 percent) believe that their business may be vulnerable to a cybersecurity attack, and 56 percent are concerned about how a breach could affect their business.
Antivirus software is an easy-to-install and cost-effective alternative to an expensive in-house IT department, and will add a layer of protection to your organization’s data.
Features to consider when choosing an antivirus solution
Antivirus protection was introduced over twenty years ago, and has now evolved to include a suite of features. With the integrity of your company’s data at stake, it’s worthwhile investing the time to assess which antivirus will truly protect your business from cyber crime.
To help you choose, we have listed some of the most important features to consider during your selection process.
As we discussed in our recent blog, ‘Cybersecurity Tips: How to Identify Malicious phishing Email Scams’, one of the most common cybersecurity issues for small and medium-sized businesses is email phishing scams. You can prevent these by, firstly following the best practices in the above blog, but also by installing an antivirus software that uses email scanning to alert you to the virus threats attached in legitimate-looking spam emails.
Updates are important for all pieces of software, as they create patches for bugs and system vulnerabilities. For antivirus systems, however, updates are even more important. New types of malware are constantly being developed, and that means your antivirus software should be constantly updating in order to be able to identify and prevent new threats.
Not all antivirus systems are designed to detect malware in the same way. Some antivirus systems force you to run a manual scan to determine whether your system has been affected, but this is ineffective. The best antivirus systems have real-time scanning functionality, allowing the program to constantly make sure that your system is not being infiltrated.
As we mentioned before, software that isn’t updated can pose a security threat for your organization. That’s because software providers are constantly updating their platforms to resolve security loopholes in their technology. That’s why many hackers are able to get through outdated versions of third-party applications. Patch management is a feature that will ensure all of your third-party applications are up-to-date and secure.
How can OT Group help?
With many organizations currently working from home, many employees across Ontario are working on unsecured networks and even personal devices. There are now serious IT concerns that this could leave many companies across the province vulnerable to security breaches and the loss of corporate information.
why OT Group has announced that, during this time, we are currently offering the use of our Managed Antivirus package at no charge.
We are offering this service for the duration of the lockdown and work from home period in Ontario, to help ensure small and medium-sized organizations in our local area have the proper security measures in place to protect themselves from the damaging implications of cybercrime.
Want to learn more? Contact OT Group today. One of our IT experts would love to discuss our managed antivirus package with you.