Managed antivirus services provide the user with a complementary suite of malware detection and prevention tools that offers complete network/device resilience against any attempt to gain unauthorised system access. The service provider will provide an analysis of likely threats and install bespoke software as required (with 24/7 monitoring, software updates, and reporting).
What does antivirus mean?
Antivirus is an umbrella term that describes a range of software solutions designed to detect and block malware from successfully gaining unauthorised access to a device or network. Antivirus solutions may serve a number of purposes, such as identifying and highlighting security vulnerabilities, preventing malicious cyber attacks, and delivering regular reports.
Why do I need managed antivirus software?
Depending on the nature of a particular business, the extent of managed antivirus software that is recommended to ensure adequate online protection will vary. For example, a company dealing in financial services will have different digital security concerns/requirements compared to a not-for-profit start-up (i.e. common security threats vary between industries).
This means that, depending on the likely nature of a targeted cyber attack relevant to the company’s sphere of operations, a company may stand to lose anything from revenue to information following a cyberattack. Managed antivirus software from a managed service provider will highlight the best fit solution in relation to the company’s individual needs.
Antivirus software can help to protect against:
- Ransomware - The computer is infected with a virus that threatens to perform an action (e.g. publishing sensitive data) unless a ransom - typically in the form of a financial deposit - is paid.
- Spyware - Spyware has many forms, with the most common type of spyware acting as an information gathering and reporting tool (without the target device owner’s consent).
- Trojans - Trojans gain access to the host machine - and therefore access to sensitive data - by appearing as a legitimate file or program with which the user unwittingly engages.
- Viruses - A virus can modify and corrupt multiple files across a network of connected devices by executing a command designed to replicate and spread a piece of malicious code.
- Worms - Worms are self-replicating and are generally designed to recognise and take advantage of security flaws to gain access to a device - user input is not required for activation.
Managed antivirus services minimise the time and effort required to protect against emerging malware threats by combining all relevant antivirus software into a single monitored service.
How does managed antivirus work?
Managed antivirus as a service is a method of gaining complete control of all antivirus resources. This is achieved by outsourcing the installation, update procedures and all maintenance tasks to a managed service provider that will provide regular reports (and industry advice on recent advancements) on the types of attack that have been isolated and prevented.
- Configuration - The antivirus managed service provider will devise and rollout a bespoke antivirus service plan across all devices/servers connected to the network.
- Dashboard - This allows for a detailed at-a-glance performance review of all antivirus services, with instant options available upon threat detection (ideal to combat zero-day threats).
- Reports - Reports may be set up to show multiple aspects of all recent threat detection and prevention activities, including factors such as the duration and the origin of the attack.
Managed antivirus software seeks to minimise any potential drain on a company’s IT resources by running background threat detection checks during operating hours, with deep-scans typically scheduled for out of hours. Performing deep scans out of hours also reduces the impact that slower network responsivity - due to the scan - may have on output.
Benefits of managed antivirus as a service
The main financial benefit of choosing a managed antivirus solution (as opposed to the traditional in-office approach of choosing to install and monitor antivirus software on individual devices) is the reduced cost associated with maintaining a specialist in-house IT team. Instead, the managed service provider will deliver all services required to maintain adequate online protection without the need to fund and house a dedicated IT department.
Benefits of managed antivirus as a service include:
- Central Control - All network devices are protected and monitored (software updates are instant)
- Instant Response - The managed service provider will react to threats (and produce reports) in real time
- Accident Proof Protection - Employees do not have the authority to turn off antivirus protection (accidentally or not)