If you’ve ever purchased the latest-model computer only to see the manufacturer release an even newer model the very next week, you’re aware of how quickly technology changes. Last year’s online security and virus protection products are no longer adequate to protect you from this year’s threats. Online interactions happen in real-time. There are more ways to communicate, more devices to communicate with and more ways to store and retrieve data than at any other time in history. Learn why the only way to stay safe online is by choosing a comprehensive virus protection program that blocks threats at their source.
Understanding Industry Terminology
When you begin to research virus protection software, you are likely to encounter new terminology. Terms like kill chain, exposure layer, and infection layer are newer terms that describe threat types and how they operate. The kill chain refers to the entire sequence of events that starts when a threat attempts to access your device or data and ends with its successful infiltration or termination. The exposure layer refers to the source of the threat, often a URL or domain site name. The infection layer refers to the content of the threat, often a coding language. What’s important to know is that you want virus protection software for your business that will detect and terminate threats at their exposure source.
Choosing the Right Virus Protection
It’s important to research your needs before selecting a virus protection program. The following are important questions to ask during your research so that you select a program that has the capacity to monitor, protect and maintain your entire network of online communications.
How many computers do you need to protect?
Do you have a physical or virtual server(s)?
Do you use Microsoft Windows 8?
How much in-house IT staff support does your company have?
Do you use both Macintosh and PC computers?
Do you use both Apple and Android smart devices?
Do you need to be able to manage your virus protection from an online interface?
Do you need to be able to view the security status of remote offices in real time?
Do you need to safeguard email communications?
Elements of Total Virus Protection
If you want to ensure that the virus protection software you select fully protects your communications network, certain software elements are non-negotiable. These eight elements should be present in any software system you are considering:
1. Virus protection. Virus protection is an absolute must for security software in a business setting. Virus protection should stop threats at their source.
2. Device control. With device control, scanning and threat monitoring capacity extends beyond computers and smart devices to other threats such as USB file drives, scanners and peripherals.
3. Windows 8 compatible. Most companies and BYOD program participants still use Windows-based devices. Compatibility with Windows 8 is an essential component of your virus protection software.
4. Comprehensive data loss protection. With comprehensive protection from data loss, your computers, smart devices and all online and email communications are protected from data theft or compromise.
5. Integrated protection for Macintosh. Today any virus protection software worth installing must protect both Android and Apple, PC and Macintosh computers and devices.
6. Web threat protection. Web threat protection continually monitors where employees go online and stops incoming threats in real-time.
7. Fast scanning. Employees today do not tolerate scanning software that slows their system or smart device down. There is always a risk that the employee will disable systems that cause delays or interruptions in their online communications. You need a very fast scanning system with zero impact on device productivity.
8. Endpoint protection/URL filtering. With endpoint protection through URL filtering, employees are prevented from visiting certain URLs that may be deemed offensive or inappropriate. Often these types of sites also contain a higher proportion of malware or spyware, so endpoint protection through URL filtering serves a dual purpose in the business setting.
By doing your research to understand the extent of your virus protection and online security needs, you equip yourself to choose a business security solution with confidence.
About the Author: Bob Lincoln is an IT risk management consultant who is often hired to provide an objective assessment of risk and recommend security solutions. He is also a technical reviewer.