The basics about security and anti-virus software

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