IT Support & Managed It Services Perth

Antivirus vs. anti-spam, and why your SMB needs both

In today’s increasingly connected world, it’s never a good idea to use unprotected and unsecure electronic devices. Cybercriminals can exploit any vulnerable device, such as laptops, tablets, or smartphones, to compromise your company network and steal sensitive data.

With malicious or criminal attacks being the leading source of data breaches in the first half of 2021, it’s crucial that your small- or mid-sized business (SMB) in Perth stays on top of cybersecurity. Two basic yet indispensable IT security solutions that can help keep your endpoint devices secure are antivirus and anti-spam software.

What is an antivirus?

A virus is a type of malicious code or program designed to replicate and spread itself among files and devices without the user’s knowledge or consent. It usually causes damage to some aspect of a device’s or network’s operation, such as deleting or corrupting data or modifying system settings.

Viruses typically spread through downloads, either from harmful websites or email attachments, but they can also be passed on from trustworthy users or devices that have been unknowingly infected.

Sometimes, it may not be immediately clear when a device has been infected. All you have to remember is that malware like viruses are known to perform tasks repeatedly, which tend to eat up device resources. So, be on the lookout for these telltale signs:

  • Slow device performance
  • Poor internet connectivity
  • Restricted access to your own files or applications
  • Signs of unauthorised access to or unusual activity in password-protected accounts

On top of being vigilant, using a modern antivirus lets you detect not just viruses but all sorts of malware as well. Antivirus software scans files, programs, and applications that you are downloading onto or are stored on your device, then compares them with known threats. Once it finds a match, the software promptly isolates and removes the identified threat. 

What is an anti-spam solution?

Spam emails are essentially digital junk mail. More often than not, these contain marketing messages and are distributed through an email blast, in which the same email is indiscriminately sent out to millions of recipients. These messages are generally harmless. They are also sent without personalisation and have common content or features, so a lot of these are automatically filtered into spam or junk folders by email or internet service providers.

Phishing emails, on the other hand, are a form of spam with customized messages or information, which makes them more dangerous and harder to filter. Cybercriminals use these emails to steal information or spread malware by tricking recipients into divulging personal or confidential data, clicking on malicious links, and downloading harmful files.

While anti-spam or spam filtering solutions are designed to block potentially malicious emails from reaching a target’s inbox, they can’t always stop phishing emails, especially the ones that are meticulously crafted or highly personalised. Also, anti-spam solutions can sometimes prevent genuine emails from reaching a user’s inbox. It’s therefore important not to be wholly reliant on anti-spam solutions and be wary of all emails you receive. It pays to always exercise caution and avoid clicking on any content in suspicious emails.

A reliable managed IT services provider (MSP) can help you deploy anti-spam protection as well as teach your employees how to spot phishing scams.

Why does your SMB need both?

Cybercriminals constantly develop new viruses and find ways to compromise your devices and steal your data, money, or identity. Your first line of defence is being smart about how you browse the internet and use email — the key is to always be mindful of links you click on, websites you go to, and files you download. Antivirus and anti-spam solutions can supplement these efforts and increase your devices’ security as well as reduce your risk of infiltration.

However, antivirus and anti-spam software alone cannot catch and curb all potential threats. It’s crucial to implement multiple layers of security, including employee education and security vulnerability auditing, to thoroughly protect your SMB’s network and data.

Protect your Perth business from malicious online threats by partnering with Austin Technology. Call us today and we’ll help you come up with a cybersecurity solution that will safeguard your business network and apps from internal and external attacks.


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