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Why antivirus software is not enough to protect your business from cyber crime
Why antivirus alone isn’t enough cyber security for your business.
- Antivirus software only protects one cyber entry point to your business.
- Antivirus software looks for signatures for “known viruses” only.
- Hackers commonly use other methods that antivirus can’t defend against: Targeted phishing attacks, ransomware, and mobile device attacks.
You want to secure your home from intruders. So you lock the front door, but you leave the back door unlocked and the windows open. Sound like a good plan? Right, didn’t think so.
Then why do so many small to medium-sized businesses do exactly that, when they have only an antivirus on their computer but take no other precautions?
The fact is, antivirus software is not enough to protect you from hackers—it only protects one door (i.e. entry point) to your business.
Bad actors have been, and continue to, come up with new insidious ways to infiltrate your network, your employees and your data. Studies have shown that a cyber attack takes place every 39 seconds! And it normally takes six months to even detect a data breach.
So why isn’t antivirus software enough cyber security to stop the onslaught? The answer begins with learning how antivirus works: It recognizes virus “signatures” – a set of unique data that is like the “fingerprint” of a known virus. But hackers are circulating new, “unknown” threats constantly. Is your antivirus software up-to-date, every hour, every second of every day? And who’s monitoring it? If it finds a known threat, who’s there to respond and contain it?
That being said, the real problem is that “known viruses” are no longer the hackers’ preferred method of breaching your business. Other, more diabolical means are much more prevalent for today’s cybercrooks:
- Targeted attacks: Using a method called spear phishing, the attacker targets specific organizations and/or individuals by email or even text, convincing them they are a trusted sender (perhaps their boss, their bank, or a valued business partner). Having done their research, the message looks legitimate, and from there they attempt to obtain sensitive information from the victim, or have them click on a malicious link.
- Ransomware: An extremely lucrative cyber crime, ransomware encrypts a company’s data, then demands a ransom to unlock it. This form of attack has been growing exponentially, and now new “double-extortion” attacks have entered the ransomware fray, whereby hackers also threaten to release the sensitive data online if their inflated demands are not met.Antivirus programs can do nothing to protect against this kind of attack, and it’s estimated that in 2021, a business will be taken hostage by ransomware every 11 seconds. Ransom demands are often in excess of $100,000, and this year will total $20 Billion in damages worldwide.
- Mobile & Cloud-based storage threats: The Covid-19 pandemic has focused the hackers’ attention largely on the vast increase in mobile devices accessing business networks, due to work-from-home needs. Every laptop, tablet, smartphone and Cloud environment is another of your business’ endpoints. With all of these added devices now part of your network, it’s impossible for one antivirus installed on office desktops to do the job.
How Tapin2it Can Help
Antivirus software can be one small component of a cyber security plan. But companies need to do much more to secure themselves. Just like with a home alarm system, you need an all-encompassing eye watching all of your cyber entry points at all times, and a team of human, certified security experts there to respond immediately if a threat is detected.
How to protect your business from cyber attacks? Don’t leave the back door unlocked. Make sure you’re covered from end-to-end, top-to-bottom, 24/7. Get in touch with Tapin2it today to learn more about the full suite of services we provide, and slam the door on cybercriminals.
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Tapin2it | Managed IT Support for Businesses in Toronto and the GTA