How to Choose the Best Antivirus for Your Business
No business, whether big or small, is immune from cyber threats. The first step towards nipping this problem in the bud is installing a powerful antivirus solution. In fact, it is a must-have as it enhances cybersecurity, thereby minimizing the chances of unsuspecting organizations falling prey to cyberattacks.
Findings reveal that 81% of surveyed organizations were affected by a successful cyberattack in 2019. Further, more than two-thirds of IT security professionals believe a successful cyberattack is imminent in 2020.
Malicious hackers have been attacking computers and networks at a rate of one attack every 39 seconds. When it comes to costs, US ransomware attacks cost an estimated $7.5 billion in 2019.
In the high-risk cyber environment, you need every bit of cybersecurity you can get, and installing a robust antivirus solution is a good way to start.
Here are a few tips that will help you pick the most effective antivirus for your business.
1. Invest in a Comprehensive Antivirus Solution
As a leading provider of managed IT services in Wisconsin, we always ask our customers to get a comprehensive antivirus solution to prevent potential data breaches.
The antivirus solution you choose for your business should do more than just protect you from getting infected by viruses from a website. Cybercrime is always evolving, which is why your antivirus should be capable of identifying the latest threats, thereby facilitating continuous safeguards.
From packaging their viruses in email attachments to luring you into clicking malicious links, cybercriminals use several different methods to infect your devices. Some of the most common tactics include email hijacking, phishing, cryptojacking, planting malicious ads, Trojans, spyware, fake websites, pharming, malware, and ransomware. Your antivirus should be able to provide you with round-the-clock, real-time protection from these threats.
It should also offer you controls that allow your to track the online activities of your employees. These may include content filters that prevent them from visiting/stumbling upon inappropriate websites, while also letting you know about the amount of time they are spending browsing the Web, the search terms they use, and the social media and messaging sites they access.
To prevent your business from becoming a victim of corporate espionage, your antivirus should be able to identify and alert you about the presence of spyware in your systems. After all, you don’t want your sensitive business and financial details to fall into the wrong hands. Your antivirus should also be able to remove the spyware from the root.
Further, look for a solution that equips your network with firewalls, adding a strong layer of protection. This will help you monitor inbound and outbound traffic on your network. You will be able to block unauthorized access to your systems, safeguarding your data.
Additionally, go for an antivirus solution that offers cloud backup to secure your documents. Regular and automatic backup can protect sensitive data by enabling you to back-up, store, and recover files.
2. Pay Attention to Performance
Antivirus software tends to be heavy in size, slowing down your computers. The updates may also take time to load while requiring a number of resources to scan the device. It is, therefore, necessary to check the performance of your antivirus solution. Look for online reviews to get your answers. You can also use the trial version (usually a 30-day free version) of the software and see how compatible it is with your computer before going for the paid version.
Typically, a sound antivirus solution will have little or no impact on your computer’s performance. It will function without hampering or interfering with the user experience. Your antivirus should be capable of scanning your computer for security threats without causing unnecessary holdups.
If you decide to work with providers of managed IT services, ask them for recommendations. All good providers know how to minimize their solution’s effect on your computer’s performance.
3. Look for Centralized Solutions
Centralized antivirus solutions work great for businesses because you get a single control panel to implement cybersecurity measures over multiple computers. In other words, it keeps your security uniform and is particularly suitable for organizations with more than five-to-ten employees.
Cyber risks come from internal as well as external sources, which is why centrally-managed antivirus protection needs to be updated at all times. A centralized security solution needs to be updated just once as opposed to repeatedly updating every single standalone system.
Moreover, many users fail to realize that their firewall isn’t as effective as they’d like it to be, or that their computer is infected. It may not be practical for businesses to track every employee’s email or limit internet access or even deny access from employee devices. In such cases, it is vital to ensure that every computer on the network is running the latest version of centrally-managed antivirus software.
This solution also allows you to download virus definitions and software updates to a single server rather than downloading them repeatedly to all machines. Once the files are downloaded, the computers can pull them from the secured server rather than the internet. This works well for businesses with limited internet bandwidth or those that cannot provide an internet signal for every computer.
Centrally-managed antivirus solutions can reduce network traffic, while also reducing the time spent on managing the system and resolving end-users’ issues. These solutions run in the background without human intervention or hampering daily operations.
4. It Should Be Easy to Use
While the antivirus runs quietly behind the scenes most of the time, it needs to be ready for use when you want to scan an active threat.
Some users are more technically knowledgeable than others and can, therefore, work more reliably with computer software. However, the antivirus solution you choose should be easy to use for end-users regardless of their knowledge levels.
In other words, those well-versed with cybersecurity guidelines as well those new to them should be able to use the software easily. This means it should have intuitive navigation, be user-friendly, and give you complete control.
5. 24/7 Customer Support Is a Must
Antivirus and computer security are complex matters, especially for the inexperienced. Hence, being able to get timely help is crucial. Your antivirus should come equipped with an array of support options such as dedicated helplines, live chat sessions, email, and in-person visits, whenever needed.
It is necessary to get answers to questions such as who will provide support once the software is deployed, will availing support cost extra, and who will manage custom policy changes, and so on. You should also check if 24/7 after-sales support is available and whether or not it is included in the cost.
6. Consider the Cost Factor
When choosing an antivirus solution, get for the most cost-effective one that addresses all your security needs and offers scalable as well as robust protection. While the right product might not be the cheapest option, purchasing a cheaper but sub-standard solution that can’t protect your data will cost you big in the long-term. Free, trial versions, and even retail consumer products will most likely let you down. It is best to use a commercial managed product.
Consider the following cost factors:
- What will the total cost come to? Are there any annual subscription costs or other hidden expenses to avail the protection you need?
- Are the licenses for the servers different from those for the computers?
- Would a long-term package be more cost-effective than an annual one?
- Is it possible to get a buyback deal on your existing software?
Do maintenance and/or IT support services cost extra?
Choosing the right antivirus for your business is a critical decision that can save your organization a whole lot of money while building your reputation and stability in the long-term. By keeping the above considerations in mind, you’ll make an informed decision only to see that it plays a huge role in enabling your business to run smoothly and securely. Once you have installed the right solution, you will be able to manage your business more strategically and with better focus, knowing that it is safe and protected from cyber threats.
Scott Hirschfeld is the President of CTaccess, an Elm Grove IT support company that has been helping small businesses stop focusing on IT and getting back to doing business since 1990. Under his leadership CTaccess provides the business minded approach of larger IT companies with the personalized touch of the smaller ones. Connect with Scott on LinkedIn.