Why should my company consider using managed antivirus services rather than free software?

The Safest Options for Anti-Virus Protection

Home offices, small business and even some larger corporations in Toronto have one common question regarding anti-virus protection. “Why pay for managed antivirusManaged antivirus services services when free offers exist?” While cost cutting always seems logical, the reality of expensive losses should prevent making decisions before considering the reliability of an AV resource.

  • Will an AV service offer enough features at no cost?
  • How long will a free service remain at no cost?
  • How much bandwidth will a free service require for multiple PCs?
  • Will a free service require constant Internet access to remain effective?
  • Will a free service offer support to run their software? Is this support offered within business hours?
  • Is there support in the event of a virus infecting the network?

The answers to these question should help in making a decision concerning the best risk management solution for your company. Free online services do protect against most common malware and virus attacks, but they still leave the user open to certain risks. Managed antivirus services can provide better protection while saving time and money, no matter what the size of the business.

Contact is Key in Emergencies

Whether an app or software is running on one PC or many computers across a network it will need to be downloaded. It will be necessary to allow this app access through an existing firewall. The network and individual PCs will need to be configured to run the software and updates required for effective security through an online antivirus service. While it’s initially easy to select an online service and run them for free, few offer comprehensive support to implement or configure downloads.

Many free services only offer support through email or online correspondence, and responses can take hours. During initial implementation, problems with configuration can cost a company in downtime. PC techs are drawn away from normal tasks and special projects to work on this problem. This can also affect the reliability of the antivirus product if can’t be properly implemented or updated while waiting for online tech support.

In contrast, managed antivirus services offer quick and reliable support for AV products.

Assurance of Reliability

Not all viruses are created to destroy data. Much of malware is used for spying. Other virus type programing such as adware significantly slows down a PC and can corrupt information. One problem reported with free AV is a lack of reliability in catching and stopping malware or adware before it can infect one or more PC’s. Another issue is some free software relays information from machines using the AV software back to the free service. It’s important to look at the terms of service on free AV offerings to see what if any data will be collected. Having a contract with a managed AVA service ensures that all of the data that is collected is strictly for the purposes of security, and no information will wind up in the wrong hands.

Getting an AV with Extras

Free online AV is always a bare bones offer. With centrally managed AV services, however enterprises will find extras that can save them money in the long run. Many will include onsite services, a complete help desk, and remote monitoring. This protects a business and frees up network technicians to perform other responsibilities. For smaller companies without the benefit of a large IT staff these services are invaluable. Overall, what a Toronto company might eventually pay for additional work in the event of a virus or malware attack makes “free” AV protection appear as less than a good deal.

Antivirus Service Center