12 Steps to Make Your IT Infrastructure More Secure: Updating Your Anti-Virus

anti-virus solutionIn this series on securing your IT infrastructure, we’ve already covered performing a security audit and creating and enforcing IT security policies. If you’ve already completed those steps, you’re ready to move on to the next stage of the process: Updating your anti-virus solution.

Most people are already aware that anti-virus software is one of the essential building blocks of IT security. It helps protect your infrastructure from common cyber threats such as ransomware (a type of malware that hackers use to hold data hostage), along with other types of malware.

As cyber criminals and viruses continue to evolve, it’s not enough to simply have an anti-virus solution in place, however. You have to regularly ensure that it’s up to date and able to adequately safeguard sensitive information against a rapidly changing landscape of security threats. Here are just a couple tips for businesses looking to make sure their anti-virus solution is as effective as possible.

Ensure your definitions are current
Anti-virus software functions by scanning files or a computer’s memory for particular patterns that indicate the presence of malware, according to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team. It spots malware based on the signatures or definitions of these malicious programs.

Because cyber criminals keep developing malware and updating old programs, it’s crucial to keep your anti-virus software updated so that it has access to the latest definitions and can recognize and neutralize these new threats. The U.S. CERT recommends checking to see if your anti-virus vendor allows your business to receive automatic malware definition updates. New malware pops up on a daily basis, so automating the process of keeping your anti-virus software current is definitely worth considering.

Pay for your protection
You might be tempted to simply install a free version of anti-virus software and avoid actually paying to protect your data. However, when it comes to safeguarding your IT infrastructure from cybercriminals, it’s worth the cost to implement a more robust solution.

Even if you’re looking to keep spending down, consider how much a data breach could hurt your company financially. The average total per minute cost of an unplanned data center outage is $8,851, according to the 2016 Cost of Data Center Outages report from the Emerson Power Network and Ponemon Institute.

If malware gets past your defenses, you could see a drop in profits due to not only downtime but also reputation damage. So while a less comprehensive free anti-virus program could save you money in the short term, it could end up costing you more in the future if you experience a data breach.

If you want to ensure your IT infrastructure is secure, there’s still more work to do after updating your anti-virus solution. Come back next week to learn about the next step in the process. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about IT security, feel free to give us a call at 877-599-3999 or email sales@stratospherenetworks.com. We offer a range of IT security solutions (including anti-virus), and our expert techs can answer any questions you might have.

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