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Encryption vs Antivirus. Why choose one over the other?

For decades, antivirus software has been a staple of IT security in the business world. Originally devised to detect and remove the threats posed by viruses, antivirus protection has since evolved to protect business IT systems from malware, such as worms, keyloggers and spyware.

Antivirus Software – An Outdated Defence

But there are now a multitude of new threats that anti-virus software can’t effectively repel on its own. Antivirus software has become especially vulnerable to intrusions which have no signature, known as ‘zero-day’ attacks. This is because the success or failure of antivirus software relies on IT systems keeping up-to-date databases of known virus and malware signatures.

However, the key word here is ‘known’. New viruses and malware are being released by cyber criminals every day, so the flaws in antivirus software are exposed when hackers get ahead of these updates and the signature recognition system, by releasing malware that has no ‘known’ signature. This then allows viruses and malware to avoid detection, circumvent antivirus software and penetrate IT systems.

Encryption & Antivirus Software – Perfect Partners

For a business, the security of digital data is paramount, and its safe handling is critical to the success of a business both in terms of reputation and performance. Relying solely on antivirus software without the added security of encryption leaves a business at significant risk of losing sensitive information about employees and customers, but also vulnerable to industrial espionage from rivals and competitors.

The Future Now

Encryption is fast becoming, if not already, an essential component of any robust suite of data security solutions, and is set to become a ubiquitous feature in both consumer and business IT systems. This is because data encryption is comprehensive, versatile, mobile, and around the clock secure. Encrypted data is secure both at rest and when in transit. Encryption is suited to the safe handling of personal data, which is now a key compliance requirement in many countries. Encryption allows mobile devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones, which now form such a pivotal role in modern business operations, to be used safely in the transfer and communication of sensitive information. And with the current pace of technological change, such as advances in quantum computing, encryption is only going to get even more powerful.

Encryption & Insurance Eligibility

Encryption is also becoming an essential for businesses seeking to qualify for cyber liability insurance cover, with providers increasingly making it a condition of insurability. Ensuring that your business is eligible for Cyber Liability Insurance Cover (CLIC) can drastically reduce costs in the event of a data breach. Many countries, such as the United States, the UK, and those within the EU have or are in the process of introducing mandatory data breach notification laws, meaning that the costs of notifying affected users in the aftermath of a data breach will be very high.

Full Disk Encryption

Full disk encryption provides a base layer of protection at hardware level, which secures sensitive data from the threats of intrusion, breaches and leaks. Running in the background just like antivirus software, full disk encryption works by converting data on a hard drive into a language that cannot be deciphered by external users.

Passwords Are Not Enough

Password protection by itself is one of the most inadequate, insecure ways of safeguarding sensitive and valuable data. Passwords can also be relatively straightforward to crack with the use of advanced password attack algorithms that bombard IT systems with hundreds of thousands of passwords a second. Password protection can also be bypassed by simply removing a hard disk from one computer and connecting it to another.

MFG Encryption Management – Data Security​ With Peace Of​ Mind

At MFG, we not only secure your data with full disk encryption but also offer a fully managed service that will reduce your overhead costs and burdens on your IT staff, freeing them up to focus more on productivity. Our encryption services cover both mobile and desktop devices, and Windows, Mac OS X, iOS and Android platforms.