Antivirus only Goes So Far… And It’s Probably Not Enough to Protect Your Business
October 18, 2023

Many small businesses think they have cybersecurity under control—or at least feel that they’re not high priority targets. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The business leaders who are too confident or too oblivious to the nature of cybersecurity often find themselves coming into work one day only to find their data encrypted, their IP stolen, or their customer records vanished.

Worse, those who do believe that they’re untouchable are usually the ones who manage cybersecurity by the seat of their pants, ignoring the risks until they find themselves trying to figure out what happened. Over the past couple months, we’ve explored two of the most common myths held by small and midsized business leaders—underestimating the value of data and believing themselves too small to be hacked.

Antivirus Tunnel Vision: Expecting Too Much from One Thing

But today, we’d like to look at a different kind of leader—the one who thinks they’ve protected themselves by slapping an antivirus on their computer. Though technically more prepared than the people who ignored cybersecurity altogether, these are the kinds of people who put faith in one facet of cybersecurity.

“The Guarantee is on the Box”

If you’ve ever seen the movie Tommy Boy, one of the most memorable scenes is Tommy’s first sale. In the scene, his buyer is looking for one thing—a guarantee on the box.

“I like your line, I like your prices… But there’s one problem. There’s no guarantee on the box. […] It should always be on the box; comforting you, calling out ‘I’m good! I’ll never let you down, but if I do, I’m gonna make things all better’.”

Much like that buyer, the blind faith antivirus believer is content with the guarantee on the box. They’re happy to hear that the latest antivirus offers features like machine learning, web scanning, and email protection. After all, it’s on the box.

Ignoring the Threats

But believing too heavily in these promises is what gets you in trouble. Those who rely exclusively on it are going to put faith in the solution doing everything. This is the kind of person who thinks, “I can click that link—after all, the antivirus will protect me.”

Antivirus and antimalware will protect you against viruses and some kinds of malware, but if you’re putting the entire weight of your business on it, it’s bound to collapse.

The Reality: Part of the Solution

Here’s the thing, antivirus software is vital—but it’s only part of the larger cybersecurity posture. Too often, companies put all their faith in antivirus without understanding the limitations.

For example, it’s great at handling the known threats. Once a virus or malware is identified by researchers, the solution knows what to look for. But what about other exploits? According to Datto, half of the surveyed MSPs reported that ransomware was able to bypass antivirus and anti-malware solutions, including anti-malware filtering, legacy signature-based antivirus, and NextGen anti-virus.

A Multilayered Approach

With the wide array of sophisticated cyber threats out there, anti-virus is not enough to protect your business data. Putting faith in one area is dangerous, which is why the best approach to the problem is to consider a multilayered approach. Antivirus is part of it, but so are employee education, email filtering, pop-up blockers, and endpoint detection solutions.

A Continuity-Focused Approach

But while layering your protections is important, the best way to reduce risk is to have a plan in place if all else fails. As noted by Datto, “security software and training are essential to prevent attacks before they happen. Business continuity enables organizations to resume normal operations quickly if security measures fail.”

Prevent and Prepare: Cybersecurity and Continuity

Securing your applications, communications, networks, and data has just become a whole lot more complex, and so have the Cyberthreats. To live and work in this virtual world means you need a partner who takes your security more seriously than even you do. At Virtually, we make your virtual world safe.

By focusing on network security, application security, data protection, backup, and more, we offer solutions that keep you running and mitigate risk. Get to know more about our security offerings, read about our business partners, and contact us for a consultation.

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