Antivirus software protection is no longer enough

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In this digital age, people are constantly online, and the cyber security landscape is ever evolving. We’re using more devices, apps, and services than ever before, which means there are also more ways for cybercriminals to get into our systems. 

Antivirus software is no longer enough to keep your data safe from cyber threats — you need cyber security services and solutions with next-gen security features that can protect you in every threat scenario. Antivirus software may not be as effective as newer solutions against the wide array of today’s viruses and malware.

What is antivirus software?

Antivirus solutions provide broad coverage against viruses, spyware, and other malware. It also checks emails, websites, and downloads for malicious content. If anything suspicious is found, the software will block it from damaging your system. 

However, even the best antivirus suites aren’t a complete solution to protecting your business from cyber threats. It’s estimated that over 450,000 new malicious programs and applications are registered every day. With such a large amount of malicious activity, it is no longer feasible to place all your security expectations on antivirus software.

The biggest issue is that antivirus software is typically reactive, meaning it waits for an infection to happen before it tries to clean it up. Passive security leaves your business wide open to fast-acting malicious activity, which can cause a lot of damage before you act.

Cybercriminals are becoming slyer, so antivirus is often too late to the game to stop the latest threats. While antivirus software can stop known threats, new threats have a strong chance of avoiding detection.

Common cyber-attacks that bypass antivirus

Phishing 

Phishing is one of the most common ways cybercriminals try to get your information. These emails appear trustworthy, but if your users click a malicious link or download an infected file, it can give the attackers an entrance to your network. Antivirus software cannot defend against attacks that have picked up credentials via phishing. As a security solution, it only picks up known threats, and is not particularly effective against new variants. 

Browser-based attacks

Browser-based attacks rely on malicious scripts and code to infect your device. These attacks can bypass antivirus software because it does not have access to the operating system itself. It is therefore unable to detect and remove these threats. 

Some browsers have built-in tools designed to protect against such attacks. However, these are only effective if they are used correctly and consistently.

Data-stealing malware

Data-stealing malware can bypass antivirus software by downloading and executing auxiliary files that are disguised as legitimate programs. This malware is not new, but its prevalence is on the rise, as more people have access to devices with internet connectivity from their homes and phones.

Implement robust security solutions

Multi-factor authentication

It only takes one account breached to wreak havoc on your digital life. Instead of relying on passwords, consider a security suite that can enforce multi-factor authentication processes to protect your data. It’s especially important if you have sensitive data on your devices or accounts.

Multi-factor authentication requires your users to input more than one piece of information to access their accounts, such as a one-time code along with their password.

Cyber security assessment

Regularly assessing your cyber security against an established framework – such as the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s Essential Eight – will help you align your security posture maturity levels, pinpoint any weaknesses, and patch vulnerabilities. 

Password manager

Passwords are an important part of keeping your accounts secure, but it doesn’t mean you should follow the same one for every account. Many people use the same passwords for multiple accounts, which means one hacked account will spell disaster for your entire business. 

Password managers will help you create and keep track of unique passwords for your accounts, and then use multi-factor authentication to keep them secure.

Device encryption

Device encryption protects end user devices by making it impossible for anyone to access their data without the correct password or key. When encryption is used properly, it can prevent unauthorised access even if a device is stolen or infected with malware.

Cyber security awareness training

Employees need to be aware of the risks posed by cyber-attacks and know what to do if they encounter them. By educating your users about the threat landscape, you can help them recognise when something looks suspicious and how to take appropriate action.

For example, cyber security training can help them understand how to spot phishing scams, as well as teach them how to safely use company computers and follow security best practices.

Managed service provider

Managed service providers (MSPs) are a great option for businesses that need stronger security to protect their data. An MSP will protect your devices, data, and network with advanced cyber security solutions, tools, and 24/7 monitoring of your network for any suspicious activity. 

Protect your business with more than antivirus

Antivirus software is still an essential part of your digital security, but it cannot keep your data and accounts secure by itself. While the above list will strengthen your business’ protection, it takes a dedicated, experienced force to best understand and manage cyber risk.

The cyber security specialists at RODIN can advise you on the best security practices for your business, help you implement policies and tools, and train your employees. Talk to them today and get the best protection for your business.

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