You have probably had a virus on your home computer before. It may have slowed down your system, caused unwanted windows to pop up trying to get you to buy a program to “fix” the problem or the infection froze up your machine entirely. Sometimes you can fix this problem yourself, and sometimes you have to take your computer in for repairs, but while contracting a virus on your home computer can be annoying, rarely is it consequential.
Now imagine that same experience, but on the computers at your small business office. Have you thought about what would happen if your small business was infected with a virus? You could lose the use of multiple machines. Important equipment and machinery could become inoperable for days. Plus, the cost of getting everything repaired combined with lost revenue and productivity could be significant. Downtime is a business killer. All computers need antivirus protection, but especially your small business computers.
Data Security: A Small Business Necessity
Malfunctioning machines are the best case scenario. Sophisticated modern hackers can infect your computers with viruses that allow them to steal sensitive information about customers, employees and your business’s financial and proprietary data. As recent high-profile cases have made clear, there are serious consequences for any business that allows this data to fall into the wrong hands.
Data security is such an important and pressing issue because the threat grows as quickly as the defense. As soon as new protections are developed, viruses are created to get around them. That is why more and more small business rely on their IT service provider to protect them with a managed antivirus strategy.
It is not enough to simply install an antivirus program and feel protected. This is, at best, a partial solution. It takes vigilance to be sure that not only the definition updates are taking place but the program gets updates with the newest features and virus engines. Free antivirus programs are known for their vulnerabilities and their delays in responding to new threats.. No matter how large your business is or what it does, it has unique data security needs, and free and unmanaged antivirus programs are simply not fast or flexible enough to meet all of them.
The benefits of the managed antivirus approach
When you use a managed antivirus approach, you get real time, 24/7 protection that is is being monitored by a team of experts for problems. This team of professionals will be aware if the software goes out of date, becomes deactivated or a system becomes infected. This is to protect you from the threat of viruses, hackers and accidental breaches of data that can happened when these security applications are not watched daily. Instead of a single, cookie cutter defense, your IT provider will have a range of protections that are constantly being tweaked and updated to respond to new threats.
There are unexpected benefits to outsourcing your data security. Not only do you get the newest and most effective forms of defense, but you also spare yourself the time and stress it takes to manage data security yourself. You can spend more time running your business and less time worrying about updates, patches and employee mistakes. Companies of all sizes and in every industry are realizing that they simply do not have the time and expertise to handle data security on their own.
There is a lot to learn about protecting your small business. Find out more about how affordable and effective managed antivirus services can be by reading through our white paper “The Ultimate Small Business Guide to IT Outsourcing.”