In 1971, Creeper – the first computer virus – was written. When a machine became infected with it, the message "I'm the creeper, catch me if you can!" was displayed. (Fun fact: A program called Reaper was later written to delete Creeper.)
Fast forward into 2015, and unfortunately the threat landscape has gotten much worse.
Thanks to relentless streams of malware and spyware, data breaches at major retailers, and big-name threats like Cryptolocker, businesses everywhere are feeling the need for increased security. As an MSP, this is something your clients are depending on you for – and antivirus software plays a critical role in day-to-day protection and threat prevention.
So which type of AV software is best for you and your clients? Not surprisingly, there’s no shortage of available solutions in today’s market – and there are some tried and trusted tools out there that have worked well for years.
But as is the case with many software solutions, it’s important to look at the impact the cloud is having on antivirus and endpoint protection technology. These offerings have come quite a long way since their inception, and today’s cloud-based AV solutions are powerful enough to stand on their own in addition to complementing traditional security software.
Here’s a quick look at four big benefits of cloud-based AV:
A Lighter Footprint
With a cloud-based antivirus solution, the majority of the work is of course happening in the cloud – so very few resources are required on protected machines. The installation file is much smaller and easier to deploy than in traditional AV software – and data that’s traditionally stored locally (reports, history and log files) now lives in the cloud. Scans are also often faster, and shouldn’t negatively impact system performance like some older, “heavier” AV tools will.
Set It and Forget It
When your AV solution lives in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about updating it – and your clients won’t have to deal with definition updates or machine reboots. This not only saves time, but it’ll help you ensure you’re receiving the latest updates as soon as they become available; this is particularly helpful against zero-hour threats or brand new malware that legacy AV solutions aren’t protected against yet.
For MSPs, a single pane of glass can make all the difference. The ability to centrally manage your AV solution and make adjustments to multiple machines (across multiple client sites) from one unified dashboard can really help you save some time – and being able to remotely access your AV and make changes on-the-go certainly has its perks as well.
Because cloud-based solutions don’t live on a local machine in the sense that traditional AV does, cloud security can be deployed alongside existing security software without any conflict or interference. This can help provide an added layer of protection onto another program.
As an MSP, antivirus is something that’s critical to your portfolio. It’s not a nice-to-have technology – it’s a must-have. Your clients need peace of mind that they’re protected, and you need a solution that’s right for your business. Take the time to identify what your clients' biggest security needs are, and then determine which kind of endpoint protection makes the most sense for them.
What else should you offer as an MSP?
By Paula Rhea
By Gretchen Hoffman