Why SMB’s need to go beyond pre-installed antivirus

Computer maintenance and repairIn a climate where cyber attacks are becoming a reality for every level of business, choosing the right antivirus and antimalware is a vital part of maintaining consumer confidence and safeguarding a company’s financial security.

According to online security providers Symantec, in 2012, one in every 291 emails received contained some form of virus.  This may seem alarming, considering the number of emails that pass through staff inboxes on an hourly basis; however, web security firm GFI Software claims that there are effective methods of protection.  The firm’s white paper encourages companies to choose software that scans mail prior to it being opened.  The paper states that leaving the user with the decision whether or not to trust an attachment that was received by email is not a good idea.  “By blocking malware at the email gateway, you are greatly reducing the risk that end users may make a mistake and open an infected file,” it says.

A major factor in ensuring a firm’s computer safety is acknowledging the risk, as in the past SMBs have assumed cybercrime threatens only larger companies.  According to Chester Wisniewski, who works as the senior security advisor for the online security experts Sophos: “The biggest change with virus attacks has been that more advanced techniques that were specific to targeted attacks are now moving downstream.  Small businesses often think they are too small to target, but they are not.  The sophistication of their adversaries is getting more advanced and every dollar is a dollar worth stealing.”

Finding the right security tools begins with utilizing a computer’s pre-installed protection, be it Windows Security Essentials or the firewalls that come with the latest Apple OS X Lion system.  From here, companies should select a third party security package that reflects their individual requirements and vulnerabilities.

How do you know your Computer Has a Virus?

View this video from from Great Lakes Computer, which walks you through signs that your PC may be infected, and instructs you on what to do if your standard AV software cannot address the issue.

Learn more about the author Bob Martin