We hear this lament often:  “I have antivirus software.  Why did I just get a virus?”  It’s a valid question that deserves some attention.

Before getting to the nuts and bolts let’s go ahead and say it:  Antivirus software will never be enough to protect you from all viruses.  I know that’s frustrating to read, but it is reality.  For the most part, antivirus software stops viruses that it is familiar with and new viruses, which the software is not familiar with, are released every day.  Also, some older viruses morph over time, thus evading detection for a while until the antivirus software is updated.

Picking the right antivirus software helps, but even that is not 100% effective.  Which antivirus software is the best?  That’s a moving target that changes with almost every review that we read.  The various antivirus software are constantly changing as are the test methods.  We’re left picking a software that is well known, reasonably well rated and with which we have a track record.  Using something that’s free is not a good idea, by the way.  How much time can the software makers really put into the software if it’s free?  Not enough, in our view.  Often, the free versions are not licensed for commercial environments, by the way.

In the end we follow this recipe to improve our odds of success:

  1. In a corporate network we prefer antivirus software that has a central console where we can view the status of each PC and manage the updates and scans. Centralized management is a time saver, which means lower ongoing costs and a greater likelihood that antivirus will actually get the attention it deserves.  And, this type of antivirus software is actually less costly than the kind you would buy for your home PC.  Bonus!
  2. Utilize a spam filtering service that quarantines nefarious emails before they reach your systems. Some spam emails contain viral links or payloads, so why not catch them before they get to you.
  3. Utilize a business-grade firewall that can block certain countries as well as certain email attachments. If you don’t do business in Ukraine why allow emails from there?  And, some email attachments are notoriously dangerous.
  4. User education is a kay factor. If you’re not sure about a link in an email why click it just to find out if it’s ok?  Stop!  Ask your IT provider for guidance.
  5. Any software that is widely used such as Windows, Microsoft Office and Adobe products are huge targets for the folks who write viruses.  We can automate the process of keeping these up to date with the latest security patches.

Doing these things will help.  Need more info?  Contact SCA today at 678-401-2465, or email us at itresource@sca-atl.com.