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Are Free Antivirus Software’s Good Enough? | Virtuoso

By Ria Manzanero


September 3, 2022

Security used to be so simple. You installed antivirus solutions, trained employees not to click on unknown links, and kept software and websites up to date. Antivirus solutions have done a great job of keeping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) safe for many years.

However, the threat patterns are changing and SMEs need a different type of protection to combat today’s increasingly sophisticated and severe cyber-attacks.

Antivirus solutions rely on signatures to detect threats, but the latest threats don’t use signatures and can slip through and enter your company’s networks undetected.

If you’re using FREE antivirus, then you’re in a whole different realm of danger. Is free antivirus good enough, you ask? Free antivirus is not good enough, no!

We want to share exactly why free antivirus isn’t enough to protect your business anymore and the most modern software your business can incorporate to protect itself from cyber-attacks.

We see so many intelligent cyber security threats today, that are beyond the abilities of simple antivirus software.

In fact, 82% of SMEs say they have experienced a cyberattack that their antivirus systems didn’t catch. (Ponemon, 2018)

A few examples of some of the risks we are seeing in the marketplace include:

  • Weaponised documents that may seem like harmless PDF attachments in your emails but execute attacks once they enter your network.
  • Fileless threats that don’t require downloads, but execute from memory, making them difficult to identify.
  • Zero-day threats that find an unknown computer vulnerability and exploit it before software or hardware providers can issue updates.
  • And of course, continued ransomware attacks, which can disable IT networks as cyber-attackers demand huge ransoms to restore data and services.

So, if you’re one of these businesses questioning are free antivirus software good enough?! The answer, is still no.

Solution: Endpoint Detection Response

You want to keep your business, customers and employees safe from cyber-attacks. But how can this be done with so many devices being used in today?

As well as office desktops, personal laptops and mobile devices both act as weak links when concerning IT security, as workers use less caution on-the-go than they do in the office.

This is why Managed Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is now considered the best choice for your business’s IT security.

What is EDR, you ask? EDR should essentially be understood as the visibility element of your cyber security.

Think of antivirus as a barrier, aiming to prevent cyber-attacks. But when threats slip through antivirus (as they very often do), EDR detects that activity and alerts you to the threat.

Why EDR is better than antivirus

There are many reasons EDR is a more advanced solution to threats than antivirus.

Here are some of the key differences between EDR and antivirus:

  • EDR allows you to break free from ransomware by rolling back devices to their pre-infection state, whereas antivirus cannot.
  • EDR uses artificial intelligence to detect and prevent both current and emerging threats, with continual updates to the platform, whereas antivirus uses signatures to identify threats, meaning capabilities lag cyber-attackers’ latest strategies.
  • EDR monitors processes before, during, and after execution, to prevent new threats from slipping in. However, antivirus operates blindly during execution, creating an entry point for new threats from savvy attackers.
  • EDR monitors your systems in real-time. While, antivirus relies on daily or weekly scans, increasing your risks during those unmonitored periods.
  • EDR keeps device performance fast with continual monitoring, whereas antivirus is known to slow down devices with long scans.

So you see, with EDR you gain peace of mind that you can restore all your business’s devices to their pre-threat state. Restoring infected machines to full productivity, no matter which strain of ransomware is holding them hostage, is a huge benefit of using EDR over antivirus.

Some may even argue that EDR supports employee productivity, by eliminating threats that outwit traditional antivirus solutions and maintaining faster device performance, there are fewer distractions that eat into employee productivity.

How to implement EDR into your business

We hope you’re no longer considering free antivirus software and asking is free antivirus software good enough?

Whether you’re using free antivirus, paid antivirus, or EDR – managing your cyber security is a full-time job. So why not let us manage it for you?

Don’t waste valuable time trying to support and manage your own systems and security. Focus on running and growing your business, with ongoing support from your trusted managed service provider.

As a customer of Virtuoso’s cyber security services London, not only will you receive EDR, but you will also benefit from cloud email security to combat phishing emails, internet filtering to identify malicious domains and regular scans of the dark web to reveal if any of your business data has been compromised.

We will manage all of this for you and even train your staff on how to detect daily threats in your business, as an added measure!

Want to know more? Get in touch today.