Small businesses often overlook how essential it is to have a cybersecurity strategy from the get-go; and the first thing that comes into mind while buying new office equipment is installing an antivirus, which most think is enough for cybersecurity.
Antivirus is not Cybersecurity. In fact, it’s only around 20% of the protection your business needs. This means you’re 80% exposed and the reason so many small business are being hacked daily in Australia.
Installing that antivirus is where the magic begins, but that’s also where it stops for most businesses. What business owners don’t realise is that there are many ways in which antivirus fails to protect your business’ well-being.
Inefficient Virus Scans
Have you ever wondered why scanning your computer for viruses takes so long? Antivirus programs have a predetermined signature of viruses that they search for during a scan.
However, they can’t look for every single virus at once, otherwise your computer would come to a halt due to so much traffic all at once. In order to maintain your computer functioning, antivirus programs run each signature one after the other on every single computer file found on your system.
As there have been hundreds of thousands of viruses, there needs to be a signature for each of these viruses that needs to run to check every file on your computer continuously. This would take hours to run just to check a small portion of these existing viruses.
Therefore, antivirus software only runs a small subset of signatures considering the most recent and dangerous threats. This means that only about 20% of all threats are picked up by your antivirus so that your computer can continue running without getting clogged up. This balance between efficiency and virus detection leaves a big hole in your network security which could be the reason your business is at risk.
Antivirus programs act and detect threats that are known, but new viruses and threats are consistently being created. Unknown viruses are said to be “in the wild,” as a signature to identify and eliminate them has not yet been created.
Creating a signature takes time and requires for the virus to first be picked up, analysed and sent to a third party. Detecting a new threat can take weeks, which creates a big window for your computer to be attacked.
Failure to Enable Automatic Scanning
As active and continuous scans can cause performance issues, a lot of businesses or individuals choose to only enable antivirus scans once a day. The result of disabling active scans can be catastrophic, as serious threats such as ransomware can attack during these periods of inactivity.
Blind-sighted to Attacks
Not all network attacks are done by a virus. Other threats such as phishing and ransomware occur through email access, stealing a user’s personal information and secure information from a business.
And as if that wasn’t enough, malware criminals know perfectly well that practice makes perfect. In order to ensure an attack will be successful, they run attack campaigns against businesses to test for a success rate.
So, when a virus arrives to your computer, it has already been tested and revised for effectiveness. Cyber criminals do everything in their hands so that firewalls and other traditional antivirus strategies don’t intercept the threat immediately, and it has time to obtain the information it is there for.
Finding the right strategy to create a security solution that protects you from more than viruses without impacting your equipment’s performance is key in this battle. It is necessary to compliment a good antivirus with a cybersecurity strategy.
Antivirus is only a tool, not a strategy.