Does your business depend on "not half bad" protection?

Depending on the sources you read or the people you listen to, the humble PCs that help power your business are either the handiest tools invented since the crescent wrench or a sinister cluster of ticking time bombs waiting for just the right moment to blast all of your important business data to smithereens.

While the “smithereens” proponents may have gotten a boost from McAfee’s recent flub of an anti-virus update, the truth of the matter lies closer to the “handiest tools” end of the spectrum. For many businesses, computers are indispensible. Period. So the trick becomes figuring out how to integrate computers into your business without putting your most important information at risk of getting blown to Kingdom Come.

The first line of defense for any business has to be a reliable suite of anti-virus software. A recent report from Symantec suggests that hi-tech criminals and hackers launch more than 100 attacks per second on computers around the world. As a result, the report estimates, the amount of malware in circulation in 2009 was 71 percent higher than in 2008.

This means, according to Symantec, that 51% of all the viruses, trojans and other malicious programs the company has ever seen were logged during 2009. In total, Symantec identified almost 2.9 million items of malicious code during that 12 month period.

Now as an anti-virus vendor, Symantec may tend toward a grim regard for all things security-related. But even taking that into consideration, those are some pretty alarming statistics. Any way you look at it, with each passing month more and more bits of malware are entering circulation in an attempt to open up your valuable data and suck it down like a can of creamed corn.

So here’s a question: Your computers play a crucial role in helping your business make money. How much sense does it make, then, if you depend on a piece of free software to protect them from viruses and other malware?

Check out the recent anti-virus software reviews from publications like PC World and Maximum PC. What you’ll find is that a lot of free anti-virus packages are not half-bad. But do you really want to stake the profitability of your business on “not half bad” — especially when you consider that top-rated malware protection can be as inexpensive as $35 per year, per computer?

The security consultants at DataOne Networks can work with you to come up with an anti-malware solution customized to the needs of your business. Remember: “Free” usually doesn’t mean “safe”.