Why you can’t rely on antivirus alone

A man's hands and a padlock symbol

Is your cybersecurity up to scratch? If you ask many business owners, most will tell you “yes, I’ve got antivirus software” and believe this means they’ve done their due diligence.

Unfortunately, antivirus software is nowhere near enough to protect you against the vast majority of cybersecurity threats out there.

And these incidents and the costs they have for businesses are on the rise:

Over 46% of businesses suffered some form of cyber attack in the year 2019-20 according to recent data.

So what do you to protect yourself? And why can’t you rely on antivirus alone?

Why you can’t rely on antivirus alone

1) That’s not what antivirus is designed to do

Antivirus software is designed to protect you against known viruses.

Unfortunately, bad actors are creating new and “improved” viruses and other ways of attacking systems every day.

These new, unknown threats aren’t something your good old antivirus is set up to handle. That’s why you need to implement something a little more robust.

2) Even legitimate tools bypass your antivirus every day

Many perfectly legitimate tools you use every day – to troubleshoot some part of your system, for example – can and deliberately do bypass your antivirus.

If a legitimate tool can do so without raising the alarm, you better believe someone who has less-than-honest reasons can do so.

3) “Safe” browsing activities aren’t enough

You might rightly claim that you don’t visit potentially dangerous or dodgy sites or download anything which looks to not quite be on the level.

But there all sorts of ways in which someone who wants to penetrate your security can do so. A site can look – it can even be – completely legitimate. Only to have had someone sneak in and place a small amount of new malignant code for you to fall afoul of.

Sensible cybersecurity steps beyond antivirus

1) Get the basics

While the basics aren’t enough to thwart many cyber attacks, you will at least be giving yourself better protection than antivirus alone. You should also look into getting:

  1. Email spam filters
  2. Pop-up/ ad blockers
  3. EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response software, a central platform which monitors devices connected to your network)

2) Train your team

More than 9 out of 10 cybersecurity breaches are the result of human error.

This means that training your team and making sure they understand how important basic cybersecurity measures are is a key part of protecting your company and all of your employees.

3) Assess your current security – and where you can go from here

Whether it’s your own in-house IT department or cybersecurity professionals you call in from outside, it’s vital to talk to experts who can tell you whether your current set up is protecting your business.

To implement a true multi-layer approach, you will need to consider:

  • Your network – your firewalls, routers, your network Operating System, local area networks, wide area networks.
  • Your data – do you have proper password management and at least 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) set up?
  • Your team – which team members have access to restricted areas and specific parts of your building? What security personnel do you have? What regulations and guidelines do you follow?
  • Your plans for recovery – if something goes wrong, say a cybersecurity attacker accesses your data and holds it for ransom, what will you do? How will you ensure you can go about business as normal?

All these considerations and more should be part of your everyday cybersecurity practices. If they’re not, the time to do something about it is now.

You don’t want to be trying to fix the gate after the horse has already bolted.

Does your cybersecurity need a little help to go beyond the “got antivirus” stage?

Contact us for a chat. Dial A Geek already helps more than 900 businesses across Bristol and the surrounding areas with their cybersecurity.

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