As we continue to bust the top 5 cybersecurity myths, we have to include one that is a common problem. The second myth is “free antivirus software on my computer is good enough to protect my info”.
False!!!! The reality is that it depends on what you are doing on your computer on whether the free antivirus that comes installed on your computer or another free anti-virus will work or not.
Many of the available antivirus software packages for consumers have free and paid versions. But unfortunately, you do get what you pay for.
- Free Versions of Antivirus are Not Good Fits for Any Type of Business Use
If you store any important information like financial or do any types of business transactions with your computer then you will need a paid antivirus that can protect you and the business information better.
Most do not allow you to use the free version for commercial/business use anyway, so you’d be violating their terms of service.
- Many Free Versions Are Not Able to Run Scans/Updates in the Background That Monitors Suspicious Activity Like the Paid Versions
For example, the antivirus, Kaspersky offers advanced protection that controls more such as dangerous apps and malware behavior that their free version does not have. The only feature the Kaspersky free version has is core protection that defends against common viruses, suspicious websites & more but lacks advanced protection, pc, mac, and mobile protection, privacy feature, money feature, safe kids feature, passwords feature, and file protection. As you can see the paid version of antivirus has its benefits. (see image below of the variations in free vs paid Kaspersky antivirus protection)
Basically a free version of antivirus protection does not have all of the extra features for more security…it’s just the bare minimum.
- Free Versions Lack Support
Most free software programs only offer online forums or community forums but not an actual customer service department with live people to help out with issues
- Free Versions Lack Management
Free versions and consumer paid versions, don’t provide for advanced business features such as centralized management and reporting, and tamper resilience. What’s the point of a security product, if a malicious attacker can just remove it when they feel like it?
- Free Versions (and most consumer versions) Do Not Protect Against Advanced Adversaries
Adversaries are modifying their tactics and using new methods of attack that are bypassing traditional antivirus (both paid and free). A free Antivirus system that just does pattern matching just doesn’t cut it in today’s business world.
Next Generation Antivirus and Endpoint Detection and Response systems are now the base requirement to not only protect from known and unknown threats but provide a forensic trace of how the attack took place.
When it comes to serious endpoint protection for businesses, especially in the financial services space, you need a robust system that includes antimalware protection, centralized management, advanced detection and removal of new and yet undiscovered threats, and the ability to understand the forensics of a potential malicious attack.
“Kaspersky Free Antivirus”. Kaspersky Lab. https://usa.kaspersky.com/free-antivirus
“Is free antivirus really free?” ESET. https://www.eset.com/us/about/newsroom/corporate-blog/is-free-antivirus-really-free-heres-what-you-need-to-know/