Cloud Managed Antivirus
For MSPs researching cloud managed antivirus solutions, a breached network is a frightening prospect. A virus could expose sensitive organizational data. It may also damage a workstation and cause lengthy disruptions to business. And in the worst-case scenario, a virus can spread throughout a network, causing irreparable harm and losses.
It’s a serious concern for IT professionals. And it’s why MSPs need to familiarize themselves with the prevalence of viruses, as well as the best tools to keep their networks safe. SolarWinds MSP (formerly LOGICnow)'s cloud managed antivirus solution can help.
Categories of Viruses
The scope of viruses can seem astonishing to the uninitiated. Roughly 74,000 new computer viruses are developed every day, according to recent estimates.
Attackers are creating new viruses at a seemingly exponential rate. With so many new viruses spreading across the Internet, the battle to secure networks may seem futile.
There are six basic categories of viruses. They are:
- Viruses that infect files – These coded viruses attach to executable files. They may be compressed as .zip files initially.
- Network viruses – These viruses are designed specifically to spread through a local area network. They rely on shared network resources, such as folders and files.
- Email viruses – A virus that spreads by sending itself to email contacts, with the intention of being opened by these contacts as well.
- Boot-sector viruses – These target a hard drive’s boot sector, affecting the crucial boot process.
- Multipartite viruses – This is a hybrid virus, with elements of a file-infecting virus and a boot-sector virus.
- Macro virus - These viruses affect programs that use macros, including word processors.
Drilling Down Further
Those six broad categories cover a variety of viruses. But MSPs and security experts have grown familiar with several particular kinds of attacks. They include:
- Memory resident viruses, which hide out in RAM, and are activated every time the operating system runs.
- Direct action viruses, which replicate once .EXE files are executed. These viruses infect files and folders as specified in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
- Overwrite viruses, which delete data that they come in contact with.
- Web-script viruses, which exploit web code in seemingly compelling web content.
- FAT viruses, which attack file allocation tables.
- Trojans, which track login details for an infected user.
The Cost of Skimping on Virus Protection
Roughly 32 percent of computers worldwide are infected with malware. That’s nearly one in three computers. Of those infections, some 57 percent come from viruses, while 21 percent come from miscellaneous Trojans.
Viruses are varied. They’re released in tremendous numbers. And — as we’re learning — they’re mostly successful in their ability to spread the globe.
But just how serious are they? A few more figures help. The economic cost of viruses is estimated to be an alarming $4.5 billion annually. But that’s just for home users.
The cost for businesses: a staggering $55 billion every year.
Of course, not all viruses are equally costly. One virus may be easily quarantined within an organization. Others have economic effects on a global scale.
In 2004, the Mydoom virus started in a then-popular file sharing network and then spread to email networks. The virus’ goal was to launch a massive denial of service attack. In the end, the virus slowed down global Internet access by 10 percent and caused some $38 billion in damages. That was just one virus.
Unmanaged and Managed Antivirus Software
Few MSPs are likely to question the need for antivirus solutions. Businesses bear tremendous risks from infections — to their bottom line and the stability of their networks. Antivirus software is a must.
Rather, the question can come down to a decision between two options. Which is better, a managed antivirus solution or one that’s unmanaged?
For an unmanaged solution, an organization may pay a monthly or annual fee. This payment grants access to an antivirus program with regularly updating databases. Companies can use this software to run daily or weekly scans to secure their networks.
So, what differentiates a managed from an unmanaged solution? In an unmanaged solution, the end user can control whether the antivirus software is updated — or whether the antivirus scanner is even run. Individual users retain a significant degree of control over the functioning of the antivirus platform.
That’s not the case with managed antivirus, including cloud managed antivirus platforms. In a managed platform, IT professionals install and maintain the antivirus service. They make sure that the software is up to date, across all devices. And they schedule the virus scans.
The Benefits of Managed Antivirus
According to security experts, managed antivirus is the best solution for MSPs. Here’s why.
MSPs manage numerous clients. Each of these customers has complex networks with multiple users. But these users can’t be trusted with security.
Security can become a headache when end users — not IT professionals — are given control over antivirus protection. Employees may turn off their daily scans. They may reject a virus-database update. Or multiple updates. And that can leave a network patchy in its security, at best.
But managed antivirus solutions counter this problem. They do so by offering the valuable benefit of uniformity.
With managed antivirus, MSPs can maintain uniform virus protections across workstations, ensuring that each has received the most recent updates. This provides strong, consistent security across networks.
This doesn’t just increase security. Managed antivirus is also easier for MSPs — and more time efficient — since monitoring each user’s antivirus software can be time-consuming. One-by-one compliance monitoring is a drain. On the other hand, network-wide antivirus updates take care of the headache in one swoop.
A more centralized approach can also help in the event of a breach. Managed antivirus solutions give MSPs a network-wide view of their security and IT assets. By managing antivirus work, rather than leaving it up to users, MSPs can more quickly address a threat, ensuring that it doesn’t wreak havoc on a network.
The Best Managed Antivirus Software
Security experts and MSPs agree: managed antivirus solutions are the way to go.
Another point of agreement: SolarWinds MSP (formerly LOGICnow) is the industry leader.
The trick? We don’t only protect against known viruses. Our cloud-based managed antivirus software defends against emerging malware as well using behavioral scans and advanced heuristics to root out unknown threats. We keep MSPs’ networks safe with:
- Signature-based scanning – Traditional detection protects your networks against all known threats, using extensive scans.
- Heuristic checks – To defend against emerging threats, SolarWinds MSP’s managed antivirus detects viruses in a sandbox environment, far from an organization’s core infrastructure.
- Continuous monitoring – Tackle most advanced threats through continuous monitoring, and detect programs whose behavior mirrors that of malware.
Efficiency – or lack thereof – is one of the biggest problems for antivirus solutions. Here, we’ve got you covered with:
- Agile, resource-light scans – Keep your networks fast and efficient with minimally draining virus scans.
- Increased accuracy – Our antivirus scans drastically reduce false positives, minimizing your need to respond to threats.
- The ability to plan ahead – Minimize employee distractions with scheduled scans.
Another reason MSPs love our antivirus solution: we built it with their particular needs in mind. With SolarWinds MSP, you can gain complete control over your networks with:
- Advanced custom settings – Don’t settle for defaults. SolarWinds MSP allows you to implement custom antivirus policies. You can create your own exclusion settings, update schedules and set your own quarantine rules, among other advanced features.
- Custom timing – Need to interrupt a scan? Not a problem. SolarWinds MSP allows you to start and stop scans as needed.
- Network-wide deployment – Forget one-by-one installs. Deploy your antivirus platform across your sites, using bulk installations.
Of course, security doesn’t end with antivirus software. That’s especially true for MSPs, whose clients depend on them for a complete suite of IT services.
To keep your sites safe, our MSP RMM platform offers rock-solid web protection.
With our web protection, you can keep users safe as they browse the web, with:
- Website blacklists – Customize your clients’ browsing policies, ensuring that their employees stay far from non-work-related websites.
- Time-specific policies – Set modified blacklist rules, depending on the time of day.
- Malware protection – Keep your workstations clear of malware, adware, spam and phishing attacks.
- Bandwidth Monitoring – Track bandwidth usage and receive automated bandwidth alerts if users are draining the network.
Prepare for the Worst
MSP RMM offers best-in-class protection against viruses and other threats. Still, disaster preparedness is a must, since the consequences of outages can be catastrophic. In fact, the loss of critical applications can cost an organization more than $5,000 a minute
Here’s how we do it:
- Continuous recovery – MSP Backup & Recovery continuously backs up full systems to standby virtual servers. If your network encounters a disaster, your backup will remain fully up to date – and ready to go.
- Resource-friendly backups – By backing up data at the block level, our backups are lightweight and network friendly.
- Speedy recoveries – Our platform helps you choose the fastest recovery option, whether from virtual or physical servers. This offers the fastest recoveries and the greatest continuity in business after a disaster.
- Storage with a security focus – MSP Backup & Recovery offers up to 448-bit encryption, ensuring that your data will stay safe. And with globally distributed data centers, which are SSAE compliant and ISO certified, you can be sure that your cloud-stored data will remain secure.
Our layered security is based on the fundamentals: prevention, detection, and reaction. These three elements keep networks up and running, and safe from the wide variety of developing threats.
But there’s one more element that specifically helps MSPs. That’s intelligence.
Our LOGICcards give actionable insights from over two million endpoints, spread across nearly 200,000 networks. LOGICcards leverages advanced machine learning and collective wisdom, analyzing threats as they emerge on the internet. The results are data-driven insights that improve your IT department:
- Security intelligence – Get notifications about security risks, such as software with vulnerabilities, or endpoints that lack antivirus protection.
- Descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics – Receive alerts on key issues with your setups, including incomplete software installs. Get warnings about developing issues that other IT professionals have encountered. And receive data-focused advice on issues before they arise, such as bandwidth conservation.
The internet may be swimming with viruses. But that doesn’t mean MSPs are without a solid option.
To see how SolarWinds MSP can boost your security and operational efficiency, sign up for our risk-free 30-day trial.
About SolarWinds MSP
SolarWinds MSP (formerly LOGICnow) delivers the only 100% SaaS, fully cloud-based IT service management (ITSM) platform, backed by collective intelligence and the highest levels of layered security. SolarWinds MSP’s products including Risk Intelligence, Remote Management, Backup & Disaster Recovery, Mail and Service Desk – comprise the market’s most widely trusted integrated solution.
Deployed on millions of endpoints across hundreds of thousands of networks, the platform has the industry vision to define and deliver the future of the market. SolarWinds MSP provides the most comprehensive IT security available as well as LOGICcards, the first ever IT notification feature powered by prescriptive analytics and machine learning.
SolarWinds MSP’s passion is helping IT professionals secure and manage their systems and data through actionable insights, rewriting the rules of IT.
For more information, visit www.solarwindsmsp.com.
Top Ten Reviews: http://www.toptenreviews.com/software/security/best-antivirus-software/how-infected-are-we.html
Southern Illinois University: http://oit.siu.edu/salukitech/tutorials/computer-viruses.php
Types List: http://typeslist.com/different-types-of-computer-viruses/
PC Mag: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1485719,00.asp
D-Tech Consulting: https://www.dtechconsulting.com/the-benefits-of-a-managed-antivirus-solution/
Disaster Recovery Preparedness Council: http://drbenchmark.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/ANNUAL_REPORT-DRPBenchmark_Survey_Results_2014_report.pdf