Virus Protection Starts With You

IT Support Los AngelesThe Benefits and Hazards of Oversight

Virus protection is one of the most important features of IT security. In a controlled environment, it’s a lot easier to have cogent virus protection; but not all controlled environments are the most cost-effective. Consider the cloud.

Through the cloud, work can be accomplished by employees virtually anywhere there’s an Internet connection. The cost of maintaining an office floor in a downtown skyscraper can be entirely curtailed, while productivity actually increases.

Many businesses are jumping on the mobile bandwagon and managing employees from their own places of residence. This saves everybody money, increases productivity, and allows for increased expansion. There are no downsides, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, the lack of oversight in this arena can end up infecting your systems. Especially if you’re not using a cloud option, or if you’re using some hybrid solution, systems at the “home office” are at risk — for compromise from viruses accidentally downloaded by remote employees.

The Personal Component

This possibility becomes acute when personal devices like smartphones, tablets, or laptops are considered. Virus protection services that IT security would regularly install on laptops that have been configured by the parent company are lost on a home device.

But, you say, “I don’t look at things I shouldn’t online. I’m not going to those ‘Ashley Madison’ sites, I’m not downloading a lot of games or movies or music.” Well, that all sounds fine; but do you ever watch videos? Do you ever accidentally find yourself perusing a click bait article? Do you ever visit political sites that aren’t “mainstream”?

The thing is, you don’t know exactly where a virus may come from, and it’s the prerogative of those who develop such software to shroud these viruses and reach a broader audience. Especially in corporate espionage, such viruses can wreak havoc on a business. A hacker may break into your parent system and find the “portals” where employees are conducting work from home. Said hacker may then go through each workstation until he finds an employee using a computer that differs from the others — this is the easiest way to pick a target: just look for the one that stands out. It is probably a personal device.

The Death Star’s Exhaust Port

In these scenarios, those who are most at risk of being hacked, or introducing a virus to the parent system, are often in administration or management. When ties to the company are so integral, it may become difficult to separate working computer portals from personal ones; and being “above” oversight means you’re likely to be the greatest security risk. No one is immune from hubris, and hackers definitely understand this.

Get personal devices covered under a service plan from an MSP whose specialty involves virus protection. Coverage should be vigilant, including such support items as:

• Patching
• Updating
• Monitoring

Monitoring is very important because viruses shroud themselves perpetually. Regular updates help to ensure a covered device against continually changing virus protocols. Software patches also provide additional protection.

There are quite a variety of measures which can be taken to protect a given device. When people don’t do anything to reduce instances of virus infection their actions simply ignore such viral possibilities. Most people look at computer viruses like something that doesn’t happen “to them”; but something for the movies, or for the news agencies. It’s not something that affects them directly. This attitude is what allows hackers to gain access.

Protecting Your Organization

You need to cut costs where it is possible. But cutting those costs shouldn’t expose you to viral infection. By all means, use the technological advantages available to you which come from the cloud and other modern applications of innovative development. But use those solutions with virus protection cogently applied by IT security providers who understand the issues, and how to protect against them.

It is possible to have your cake and eat it too, but proper security methods must be incorporated into your regular expenses. Don’t look at IT security as an optional expense, lump it in with your overhead. The problems it prevents over time will definitely make up for the costs of virus protection. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Brent Whitfield
DCG Technical Solutions
Los Angeles, CA

IT Support Los AngelesBrent Whitfield is CEO of DCG Technical Solutions, Inc. providing IT Support in the Los Angeles area since 1993. He started DCG as a results-oriented IT solutions company for small businesses in 1990, and built it into a company that was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP mentor. Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business.