Antivirus Is Only As Good As You Are
By: Jeremy Harris, IT Mindshare CEO

Unless you live under a rock, or even if you do live under a rock, you should have heard about antivirus software at this point and you should have a basic understanding of its purpose. For all of the confusion in the IT industry, this product is pretty self explanatory. You load this product on your machine (vendor of your choice) and you won’t get any viruses! Sweet! Well, not so fast. Let’s take a non-nerd look under the hood to see exactly why this software is only so-so at preventing viruses.

Since the beginning of good and evil there has been an escalation of attacks and defenses to stop those attacks. This will literally never end so you’ll need to keep that in mind – there is no one-time thing that you can ever do to be completely safe in life forever, IT included. Antivirus is still predominantly rule-based meaning it only blocks “things” from running on the network that it knows about. So a new virus comes out and hits several machines that are unaware of this new virus. The virus companies get together and create a rule (each vendor has their own way of doing this) and then pushes those rules out to users that have installed their software – called updates. So now, if you complete the latest update from your antivirus vendor, you should have the latest rules in place to block that newest virus. The title of this blog is pretty self explanatory as well – if you don’t update the latest “antivirus definitions” (updates) then your machine is vulnerable to all new viruses dating back to the last time you updated the software.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep your antivirus software updated as well as your workstations operating system and other software on the machine. Software updates are typically released for one of two main reasons: 1) Fix a “bug” in the code to make the software work better or not cause as many errors, or 2) Fix a security issue that has been exploited. If you’re going to have workstations and software on them, you need to keep everything updated.

Finally, if you have multiple workstations in your office you really need to purchase a centralized antivirus platform. All this means is that you will have a single dashboard to look at that will show you the antivirus update status of each machine. Without this, you’ll have to go to each device manually and confirm its status. This is not only time consuming, but awfully boring and not very rewarding.

As always, if you need help with anything discussed in this blog – give us a call/email. We’ll take it from there.


IT Mindshare