Cyberattacks are increasing around the globe. Last year’s attacks were a disastrous reminder of the need for greater security to protect sensitive systems and databases. The Ponemon Institute reported that 70% of organizations perceived a significant increase in security risk in 2017, leading to greater focus on developing more robust security efforts.
Trojans and worms were some of the top malware infiltrating and plaguing systems around the globe in 2016. That same year, China ranked first in malware infections, with just over 47% of computers falling prey. Turkey came in as a close second with nearly 43% of computers infected. Scandinavian neighbors Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland had the lowest infection rates.
Cybersecurity once meant simply having an antivirus solution in place. But today, as cyber attackers find new ways to wreak havoc on organizations and individuals, an antivirus alone just doesn’t cut it. Statistics show the protection power that antivirus software used to have is waning. Between 2015 and 2016, Virus Bulletin reported that average detection rates for already-known viruses and new cyber enemies declined from 80% to 70% or less.
What’s an antivirus?
Antivirus software is designed to scan, find, eliminate and prevent computer viruses from wreaking havoc on your network. They are typically used to protect systems against entrance attempts by worms, Trojans and other malicious software.
The problem with antiviruses
Last year’s attacks, and others like them, have led many organizations to question the ability of their antivirus solutions to protect them. In 2014, the Vice President of Symantec, a leading antivirus software, said he thought antivirus software was “dead” because it was only able to stop about 45% of today’s attacks.
Similarly, the Ponemon Institute found that nearly 70% of organizations feel antivirus solutions aren’t helpful against today’s hackers and cyberattacks. A slew of new technology and hacking techniques is making many security experts see the old protection methods as largely ineffective for anything but traditional attacks.
According to Ponemon, 80% of companies have supplemented or replaced antivirus solutions with Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) systems. Others have paired antivirus systems with other cybersecurity solutions. But more layers means more maintenance, and if you don’t keep your solutions up to date, they’ll be easy targets.
Regulated businesses are required, for compliance reasons, to have an antivirus solution installed to provide a base layer of protection. But in light of recent statistics on failing antiviruses, smart businesses should take steps to develop a comprehensive endpoint security system that scans, tests and patches their systems against intruders.
What you can do to strengthen your antivirus protection
Just because antivirus protection levels are on the decline doesn’t mean you should necessarily let go of this safety measure altogether. Whether you’re one of the many compliant organizations required to have an antivirus solution, or simply want to cover all your bases, these simple steps can help you get the most out of your solution.
Keep your antivirus solution up to date
Outdated antivirus programs can make it easy for even the most rudimentary viruses to break in. And there’s just no excuse for that.
Layer on the protection
Don’t settle for security that’s merely “good enough.” Cyber attackers are getting smarter every day, so pair your base layer antivirus with other endpoint security solutions to boost your system security.
Knowing your system’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities gives you the power to develop a more robust security strategy.
Find a security partner
A cybersecurity partner brings the security know-how to test and secure your systems against a variety of attacks. This partner can also help you create a business continuity plan in the event of a disaster.
The verdict is still out on whether antivirus solutions are relevant or necessary in today’s cyber landscape. But despite their shortcomings against today’s trending cyberattacks, antivirus solutions can still offer a good starting point for securing your system. Just don’t let it end there.
Hackers are only getting smarter. Take action to protect your systems today by contacting our expert team.