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Anti-Virus Not Enough Anymore

April 7, 2015

One of the most popular refrains I hear from clients whose computers have been infected with a virus or malware is: “But I have anti-virus software, and it didn’t show anything when I scanned the last time.”

Incredulous, they can’t believe the software they specifically purchased to stop viruses doesn’t. The fact is, hackers have surpassed the ability of anti-virus and anti-malware companies to keep their signature and definition databases apace with the latest infections.

Highly organized, hackers take pains to ensure that their viruses can’t be detected by anti-virus software before releasing them. Consequently, if you’re unlucky enough to land on an infected web site before your anti-virus has detected and created a definition for that specific infection, you will be infected.

In addition, hackers will often just bypass your anti-virus and firewalls by sending their attacks directly to unsuspecting employees in official-looking emails designed to trick them into opening the attached file.

And it doesn’t matter what size business you have. It’s cheap for hackers to send out random emails to small businesses. Even if you don’t think you have anything particularly interesting to hackers on your network, remember that they may use you as a bridge to much larger prey.

The Target breach of 10s of millions of credit cards started with an email with an infected file attachment sent to an HVAC vendor for Target. Hackers used the program installed when the employee at the HVAC company opened the file attachment to find the vendor’s Target login credentials, and then worked their way through Target’s network to its POS systems.

So if anti-virus software doesn’t provide the best protection anymore, what can you do? Following are the methods we deploy to provide you with the highest level of protection in our FlexIT End-User Security Program, which combines traditional anti-virus and anti-malware software with the following:

Any Device, Anywhere

It’s user-based rather than device-based so you are protected on all of your devices in any location — the office, at a client, coffee shops, hotels, airports, etc.

Enables BYOD Securely

It mitigates the risks of Bring Your Own Device (allowing employees to use their personal devices for work) by securing those personal devices as well to prevent data breaches and leakage


Infections on web sites are blocked before they can reach your network Monitored We monitor your devices daily for infections that have been cleaned or need to be cleaned manually, as opposed to traditional anti-virus, where we often don’t know of an infection until the computer has another problem days, weeks or even months later.

Host Intrusion Protection

HIPS goes beyond the definitions-based protection of traditional anti-virus to catch unknown threats by blocking unusual behaviors indicative of an attack


It can be used on Windows, Android, OsX and iOS devices

Enforces Acceptable Use

Our program enforces acceptable use policies by controlling the types of web sites employees can visit and what they can do on your network based on your specific needs

End-User Education

Perhaps the most critical part of the solution, as it provides ongoing education to your employees about common scams and cons used by hackers to gather information needed to breach your system.

Virus Removal

A perk of our FlexIT End-User Security program, we will clean free of charge any virus we can remove remotely, which will be most of them unless your Internet is down. If we have to remove a virus manually, the charge would be our lowest hourly rate in effect at the time (currently $75 per hour).

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how our clients get infected and the most common denominator is a lack of awareness on their employees’ part about what constitutes a scam. They see “Microsoft” or “Dell” or “Norton” in a security warning and assume it’s legitimate or open an email attachment they didn’t expect because they thought it was from someone they know.

Educating them about these scams and providing protection beyond definitions and signatures and across all devices will go a long way to keeping your organization safe from potentially devastating data breaches. To learn more about how our FlexIT End-User Security Program can be applied to your business, call Eric Magill at 302-537-4198 or visit

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