The basics about security and anti-virus software

Security and anti-virus software has an essential role. This is to protect your company’s servers and computers. It detects, blocks and removes viruses, spyware and malware (malicious software including ransomware) before it can do lasting damage.

What does security and anti-virus software do?

Security software aids your company computers and keeps your network secure. This is done by examining files and data for anything that looks suspicious. Security packages will:

  • Monitor files
    As soon as files are opened, the software analyses the file to ensure they haven’t been infected by a known virus or piece of malware.
  • Monitor your computer’s network and internet connection
    This is in case malicious software or hackers are trying to connect to your system.
  • Check files as they enter your network
    This is usually by scanning email attachments and downloaded files.
  • Periodically scanning
    This includes all the data on your computer, in case any undetected malware is lurking there.

Do I need security software for my Mac?

Apple Macs have been known for suffering from fewer security problems than Windows computers. However, Apple’s market share has grown and so has the number of threats. In addition, it’s always best to run security software on your Mac.

Security and anti-virus software reduces the risk of unsuspectingly passing viruses. Whether it’s onto colleagues or contacts that have Windows computers.

Viruses and malware can spread via infected websites, emails and files sent to your business. The software identifies these threats by comparing files on your computer to the electronic ‘signatures’ of known viruses.

Although security software can reduce the chance of your business suffering a virus infection, it’s not watertight. Most packages only protect reliably against known threats. It can take more than just security and anti-virus software to stay safe.

It won’t stop physical threats like:

Thieves stealing your server,

A dishonest employee stealing your company database,

A fire damaging your IT equipment.

You need a robust security plan, IT policies, good staff training and a backup system to guard against data loss and theft.

Types of security software

There are many security and anti-virus packages around. Most offer similar core protection:

  • Virus and malware protection
  • A firewall
  • Email protection

It’s easier to get a package offering all these functions in one. There are two main types of software:

Standalone security software

This must be installed and managed on each individual computer. It’s good for companies with up to five computers. It’s most of all managed on an individual basis. The only problem is that it can give your staff more freedom to disable protection or updates. Therefore can leave your business at greater risk of infection.

Centralised security software

These packages give you a central control panel to manage the protection of all your computers. Setting up a centralised package requires expertise. It works out cheaper and more effective for businesses with more than five computers.

Every computer and server in your business should be protected by security software. Furthermore, you should consider installing it on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. This is if they hold critical data.

Choosing anti-virus and security software

Security and virus protection is so critical, it’s important you choose software from a reputable company. A good IT supplier will be able to advise on the best option for your business. There are a few decent free packages available, however, there may be light on features or only really suitable for home use.

Updates

Once you’ve set up your security software, you must keep it up to date. New threats emerge daily, so the software should check for updated signatures at least once a day. After the first year or two, you’ll probably have to pay a monthly or annual fee to receive updates. Do not be tempted to cancel the subscription, as a result, will leave you vulnerable to new threats – which are evolving all the time.

Call us today to find out more information on security and anti-virus software available for your business on 01691 661166 or read more:

IT networking & support

Which is best for your business In-house or outsourced IT support?

In-house or outsourced IT support can be hard to choose which is right for your business. Both options have their advantages, but you need to be certain before you make a decision.

In-house IT support

The Benefits

Developing an IT helpdesk in-house has its benefits. With the right background and continued training, your support team can build up in-depth, specialised knowledge of your company’s particular IT set up and systems. An in-house team can be a benefit if you have implemented specialised systems that can’t be found elsewhere. This brings comprehensive knowledge of the system within the business. Your IT support team will also be available to solve problems quickly and efficiently on site.

Disadvantages

IT support training costs money. To stay current in the ever-changing world of technology your staff will need to undergo constant training and possibly have examinations. You have to pay a regular salary to your IT support staff. Figure on at least £28,000 a year each (more in London). Experienced IT managers will expect to earn much more.

It can be tricky providing holiday and sickness cover, too. What happens if one member of your two-person IT support team is on holiday, and the other is sick? You may also need an on-call rota, to deal with problems out of hours. Really you shouldn’t just rely on one or two people to run your in-house support. Even the most experienced IT engineer will lack expertise in some areas. In-house or outsourced IT support can be hard to choose you need one that covers all the bases.

Outsourced IT support

The Benefits

Outsourced IT support is more cost-effective than creating an in-house helpdesk. An internal helpdesk requires at least two salaried staff members – and maybe more, depending on your company’s size.

Outsourced IT support can be priced in different ways, but as a rough guide you can expect to pay anything between £15 per user per month and £350 a month to provide outsourced IT support to up to ten users depending on the location and level of support required. This price would include management of your company server (if you have one on-site), plus all your desktop computers, laptops, tablets and possibly even company smartphones. Many businesses find that outsourced IT support is clearly the better option.

Outsourced IT support gives you access to a larger scope of expertise. If you choose a good IT support company, they’ll have staff with experience and qualifications in a whole range of areas.  Outsourced IT support company should always be able to find someone to help, no matter what your requirements. There are other good reasons to choose outsourced IT support. It frees up time for people in your business to focus on the day-to-day running and growth.

Disadvantages

There are a lot of advantages however, there are still a few disadvantages to outsourcing your technical support. Before you make your final decision, it’s important to understand the following disadvantages.

There is potential for hiring the wrong technical support company. If you hire a company not capable of living up to the promises made or a company overseas, you may run into issues. Some companies will advertise services and even accept projects in areas they simply don’t have much experience in. Less Control as well, so you won’t be overseeing the support on a day-to-day basis.

There are a few disadvantages to outsourcing technical support. However, you can avoid these disadvantages by working with companies providing only UK call centres with experience in your area. In-house or outsourced IT support both have their advantages and disadvantages it all comes down to your business.

Technical support can be quite a tricky job. You need to provide support to your clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This means you either spend a ton of money staffing a call centre or you outsource the support to a third party. You need to figure out which is best for your business In-house or outsourced IT support? Call or drop in today to find out more about our IT networking & support.