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Why Free Anti-Virus is Not Enough For Your Business

December 20, 2017 in Small Business Security

During my time in information technology, I have seen numerous security, anti-malware, and anti-virus solutions. Security trends seem to come and go almost as rapidly as technology itself advances. I have seen free solutions pieced together from multiple offerings, to enterprise-grade security solutions that layer firewalls, computers, and mobile devices. Of course, every business would love to have security solutions that create an impenetrable fortress. However, as with all technology, as the feature-set increases, price does too. So, what’s a business owner to do? Go with the free solution? Layer free security suites in hopes of closing any gaps that one or the other may have?

If you’ve ever done any research on anti-virus, you’ve likely seen claims of how well free antivirus editions work, or how this other cleaner removed all the malware from someone’s system, for free! These free security suites are great at marketing and advertising their products. You may be thinking, “Great! I can get all the security I need for free! My business will be secure and safe!”. While it’s true that these security suites may be well suited for personal use, they’re not ideal, or even licensed, for business use.

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Numerous Computers? Manage Antivirus from One Platform

For businesses, it is important to have centralized management of your computers, software included. Centralized management means you don’t need to go into every single computer or phone on a network to make updates. But rather you should be able to control the product, on all devices, from one centralized dashboard. This is important for both efficiency and visibility for security issues on the network. This sort of granular, centralized management allows the administrator to easily renew products, keep each of the computers on the same versions of the product, and keep virus definitions up-to-date on every computer – which is incredibly important in today’s cyber-jungle.

Forget to update antivirus on your personal PC? It's not as big deal of a deal compared to missing updates on a business machine

Free antivirus and security may be great for a singular home computer, which typically speaking, is less of an attack vector for vulnerabilities. Meaning there are less devices to target, and potentially utilize, which makes it less intriguing and less of a reward for attackers. Free antivirus can be a good solution for home use because there are not a large number of machines in need of management, and not having the most immediate virus definition updates, may not be as large of an issue.

Paid antivirus detects new threats at better rates 

Free antivirus offers many of the basic protections that paid versions do. However, what free anti-virus lacks is the ability to detect new and emerging threats.  An aticle from tech website, Tom's guide puts it well, "Paid products, with their more elaborate system-behavior monitors, are more likely to pick those up and to warn you about other possible dangers."

As we’ve seen here, it is important to have a paid-for, enhanced security suite for your business. To tie management and visibility for all your devices together, as well as have the most up-to-date security patches and definitions, a tailored-for-business security suite is going to While it might be tempting to utilize the free tools that are out there, in the end, using a business grade security solution will keep your business’ IT infrastructure secure and healthy.

 

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David Ford

David Ford

David is a LIVE Network Engineer originally from Nebraska. David is a musician and even plays drums and guitar in a couple of different bands. His interests include collecting vinyl albums, hunting, fishing, and playing with his dog Buck. He says, "Technology has always been a huge part of my life, and I enjoy learning more about it every day."

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