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The Pros & Cons of Using Antivirus and Anti Spam

It’s never a good idea to use an electronic device that isn’t protected. Whether it’s a laptop, a tablet, or a cell phone, your company and clients’ data are a target. With so many data breaches happening in the last 5 years, including the Desjardin, CapitalOne, Adobe, LinkedIn (there honestly too many to name) organizations of all sizes must be vigilant.

Antivirus and antispam software are the minimum requirements in cybersecurity, but they do have their drawbacks. Companies need to determine the best package that suits their needs and seek out additional cybersecurity services to reduce their chances of being hacked.

What Is Antivirus Software?

You may have heard of these leading names within the antivirus software industry: Symantec’s Norton brand, McAfee, Kasperksy, and Avast. These companies, among many others, have developed antivirus software that has protected electronic devices and your company’s data for years.

How It Works

Antivirus software mainly blocks, detects, quarantines, and eliminates computer viruses by scanning your device’s hard drive and connected external devices. Antivirus software searches through files, software programs, web pages, and applications.

Features

You can schedule a scan of your device where the antivirus software looks for known threats and will flag suspicious behaviour. Users can choose from different types of scans based on their needs: custom, full system, quick scan, and more, depending on the package installed. Staff members can have this running in the background while they attend to other tasks around the office.

Antivirus packages can also provide add-ons, for instance, a safe search tool that can be added to your internet browser. It will notify staff when they click on a link that is potentially hazardous. On cell phones, you may be given a choice to protect it with an anti-theft option and fingerprint locking.

 

 

Threats

Antivirus software looks for these cyber-invaders:

  • Malware: Any malicious program or code that is designed to harm an electronic device
  • Adware: Software that automatically downloads itself into advertisements
  • Spyware: Software that secretly obtains information of an electronic device’s activities and transmits it to another device
  • Worms: Malware that spreads itself throughout a system independently
  • Trojans: Malicious codes or software that masquerade as files and applications
  • Viruses: Malicious codes or software designed to attack and corrupt devices, as well as spread to other devices
  • Spam: Junk mail and junk that contains scams and malicious code

Antivirus software packages have grown over the decades to include up-to-date protection against the latest threats, including Ransomware.

Cons

The major downside to any antivirus software is that it can’t protect your devices and data from every attack, as various types of threats are constantly evolving and being created.

 

 

What Is Antispam?

According to Techrepublic, 52% of all phishing attacks target Canada. If we take into account that 3.4 billion malicious emails are sent out each day, Canadians are at great risk. Luckily, many antivirus packages provide an anti spam feature to reduce the junk mail you receive and to increase your device’s protection against threats that may be contained within spam messages.

How It Works

Spam is unsolicited and unwanted mail. You may have seen a “No junk mail” sticker on people’s mailboxes or the mail slot of a home’s front door. Anti spam acts like that sticker for email while doing much more, such as protecting your electronic device from phishing messages that attempt to fool you into giving your data to hackers and cybercriminals.

Features

Depending on the company and package you choose, anti spam can be integrated into compatible email software and added to the toolbar, as a Blocked and Allowed list of senders. This feature allows the user to categorize email addresses that they recognize as safe or sources of junk mail. Once the anti spam is set up, you can adjust the filter settings to match how aggressive you want it to be in scanning your email in addition to creating customized filters.

Anti spam software can also install a folder in your email tenant and send mail it has flagged as spam to this location. It permits users to sift through the mail and verify that it is indeed spam. Worried about spear-phishing? Follow our experts’ advice!

Cons

Anti spam will occasionally miscategorize safe and vital emails, which can cause frustration and confusion. For instance, if a client sends an email to your company, but the representative doesn’t receive it because it was incorrectly categorized as “spam”, there will be a delay in servicing the client’s needs.  Some people don’t think to look in their spam/junk mail folder. If a company receives a hefty amount of spam messages per day, it will be a trying task to find emails that have been misclassified.

 

 

Why Should You Use Both?

Antivirus and anti spam software protect different aspects of your system: one targets threats within your hard drive and internet while the other monitors and manages your email, separating the good messages from the bad. Using both types of software increases your electronic device’s security and reduces your risk of infiltration. The stronger, the better.

MicroAge’s Managed Antivirus & Anti-spam Solutions

Our Managed AV & Anti spam solutions mean that we take care of everything. Not only do we remotely install the AV and Anti spam on every device in your office, we also take care of updating the software. Furthermore, our team of experts are notified if ever the AV or Anti spam detects a virus on any device. We then access the device remotely to remediate the situation instantly. For businesses seeking an extra layer of protection, 24/7/365 monitoring is also available via our Managed Services offering.

Benefits of Additional Cybersecurity Measures

Antivirus and anti spam software are the basic components every company should install on their electronic devices. However, companies can benefit from extra cybersecurity services, including:

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). While monitoring 24/7/365, SIEM searches your company’s IT infrastructure for unusual behaviour using Machine Learning, and flags it for our SOC team to investigate
  • Firewall Solutions. We configure a firewall that meets your company’s security and network requirements. You’ll benefit from real-time report, full remediation, hardware replacement, and much more.
  • Mail Protection. With a full site of solutions, from archiving, backups, email security and management, your email is safely handled and continuously monitored.

 

MicroAge is a Quebec’s leading managed IT service provider and is equipped to provide extra layers cybersecurity to help your company run more efficiently and prevent downtime. Get started today!

 

Get the most from your IT

As service providers to more than 300 companies, the dedicated professionals at MicroAge are second to none when it comes to managed services. By improving efficiency, cutting costs and reducing downtime, we can help you achieve your business goals!

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