Cyber threats are only becoming more prevalent in our digital world, and the risks posed by these threats are concerning for both individuals and organizations alike. Computer-related attacks are increasingly the cause of critical data loss for SMBs, costing companies money. The nature of these attacks varies from data theft, data corruption, or data encryption (i.e., ransomware). To help combat these consistent attacks and thus protect your devices, antivirus applications were developed like Microsoft Defender. This is the default anti-virus that comes pre-installed on all Windows devices.
However, people have reported mixed feelings about the efficacy of Windows’s default antivirus program and have questioned whether they should turn to third-party alternatives. Is Microsoft Defender good enough to protect small to medium businesses such as yours? In short, yes, but there’s more to this story that we think you should consider.
The Unnerving Growth of CyberCrime
To give proper context to the dangers of cybercrime, consider that, in 2020, global losses from cybercrime rose to almost 1 trillion dollars.
Had more organizations been better prepared to defend against cyber threats, global losses would have been much lower, but most business owners simply don’t imagine getting hit by an attack until it does.
The number of cybercrime incidents was exceptionally high in 2020 due to the large-scale transition to remote work, which created the perfect storm for cybercriminals because most employees were unaware of cybersecurity best practices.
As a result, most personal remote workspaces were left unprotected. Devices that had Microsoft Defender had at least one line of defense; to find out why it wasn’t enough, read on.
What is Microsoft Defender?
Microsoft describes Microsoft Defender as next-generation protection, saying:
“Microsoft Defender Antivirus is the next-generation protection component of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint. This protection brings together machine learning, big-data analysis, in-depth threat resistance research, and the Microsoft cloud infrastructure to protect devices in your enterprise organization.”
Microsoft goes on to describe Microsoft Defender’s capabilities, such as:
- Behavior-based, heuristic, and real-time antivirus protection — The program is continuously scanning your systems using file and process behavior monitors, as well as other types of heuristics. This is also known as real-time protection. This capability detects and blocks applications that it flags as unsafe.
- Cloud-delivered protection — Your antivirus software should be able to deliver near-instant detection/blocking of new and emerging cyber threats. Microsoft Defender’s cloud technologies utilize large sets of interconnected data and AI systems to accomplish this. Keep in mind that the cloud-delivered protection requires an active connection to the internet to function, just like other cloud systems.
- Data protection and product updates — Microsoft Defender takes advantage of the Microsoft Advanced Protection Service (MAPS), which, among other things, installs periodic security intelligence updates to deliver more excellent protection continually. Microsoft Defender also requires monthly updates that also occur alongside Windows 10 releases.
All of this is to say that Microsoft Defender is expertly designed to protect Windows Devices from malware and other common cyber threats. Back in the day, it was just a simple anti-spyware tool built for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
Those days are long gone, and since then, it’s been upgraded into a complete antivirus program.
But just because it’s a complete antivirus program doesn’t mean it’s “top class.”
Microsoft Defender is great at protecting your computer from traditional viruses or Trojan Horses, similar to any standard antivirus. However, like other standard antivirus programs, it’s not sufficient to defend against more advanced malware and ransomware attacks.
IT Security is a Heavy Burden—Don’t Lift it On Your Own
It’s one thing to run a successful SMB; it’s another thing to adequately protect it from the vast number of cybercriminals who want to exploit it for their own gain.
This is why it’s critical to have your own IT staff who work tirelessly to anticipate and deflect unwanted entities trying to breach your systems.
However, not everyone can have a dedicated in-house IT team, so many rely instead on a managed service provider like Commprise.
It often makes more sense to go with an MSP even when you have the capacity for in-house IT staff due to an MSP’s price efficiency, flexibility, and ability to scale with your company’s needs.
If you’re interested in taking IT security’s weight off your company’s shoulders, consider our Managed Security Services.