Why antivirus software isn’t sufficient: 3 approaches to cybersecurity

Why antivirus software isn’t sufficient: 3 approaches to cybersecurity

One thing’s for certain when it comes to cybersecurity: your antivirus software plays an important role in keeping your business safe. It detects, neutralizes, tracks, and eradicates malware and could fight off other types of threats like worms or Trojan horses. However, over time, hackers have grown more clever and continue to craft more sophisticated tools and techniques to infiltrate computers and networks.

In fact, antivirus software is notoriously bad at mitigating newer threats such as zero-day exploits and ransomware. While it certainly provides broad endpoint protection as the first layer of defense and leaves you with a smaller workload to deal with, it’s no longer enough to keep your business safe.

Out with the old, in with the new?

Generally, it’s still wise to invest in antivirus software, but with cybersecurity incidents regularly appearing in headlines, businesses should wake up and realize that securing their systems require a large investment of their time and resources. A risk-based security strategy (i.e., a plan based on the vulnerabilities and threats your business is most likely to face) will help you allocate your funds to implement the right level of security, keeping in mind that your company’s data is its bloodline. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which data is critical?
  • What or who can threaten that data?
  • How far are you willing to go to prevent that data from being stolen and abused?

Next-gen protection

Since antivirus software isn’t enough, what can you do to further fortify your network? Here’s a three-step approach to better cybersecurity:

  1. Advanced protection
  2. Cyber threats are prevalent. They present a fast-moving target for detection-based solutions, so you need to move beyond traditional approaches and treat everything as a potential vector of attack. For example, if your business can lessen the workload on your sandbox solution, a process where you run applications in a safe environment isolated from other operating systems on a computer, the cost savings alone would allow you to invest in a new, more advanced layer.

    Related article: Are firewalls enough to protect your company’s network?

    A zero trust approach should be applied as well — that is, your entire organization should be trained to not automatically trust anything inside and outside its perimeters, but instead verify anything suspicious or out of the ordinary before granting access. Your IT or security team should be able to understand which areas a solution belongs (i.e., endpoints, gateway) and what real issues it solves. The wider the risk coverage, as in data source and threat, the better.

  3. Education and training of employees
  4. Companies, whether big or small, tend to get a bad draw when it comes to employees being the weakest link. Employees are sometimes blamed for data breaches because they’re the ones who clicked the phishing link or downloaded malicious files that set off an attack. However, attacks are becoming so advanced and well-disguised that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to detect them early.

    Related article: Prevent employees from accidentally leaking information

    Instead of blaming employees, educate and train them. Foster a security mindset by providing them with the basic knowledge they need to protect themselves from being targeted.

  5. Multi-layered security
  6. A multi-layered security approach plays a significant role in protecting organizations, as only coordinated defenses that work across multiple protocols and applications have any chance of stopping potential threats. This type of security strategy is effective in today’s threat landscape. Instead of waiting for attacks to hit networks, layered security takes a holistic view of cyber defense, as it accounts for the different attack vectors by which malware is delivered while applying network and employee-level protection.

    Related article: Businesses need layers of cybersecurity solutions to stay safe

    Getting reliable multi-layered security isn’t as complex as you might think. This can be done by partnering with a reputable security service provider like Charles IT. Our team of IT engineers monitor and maintain our clients’ networks and proactively inform them of any issues that arise. As such, we’re able to provide clients with cost-savings recommendations and ideas for how new technologies can benefit their business.

Need a strategy for guarding against ascendent threats? Contact us today and we’ll help you get started right away.

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