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.
Why Microsoft Defender Isn’t Enough
Having Microsoft Defender on your device is better than not having any antivirus at all. Since it’s free and pre-installed, Microsoft deserves credit for looking out for its customers in no small way.
That being said, the pre-installed defense program will likely only handle smaller and older forms of cyberattack.
If Microsoft Defender is going against a trojan method from 10 years ago, your device will be safe. Still, its threat detection systems and databases aren’t kept as up-to-date as other more capable antivirus programs.
Keeping such systems and databases up to date is a critical point here because new forms of malware are being released into the wild all the time. And if you’re getting a malware solution, it should have strong ransomware protection, which Microsoft Defender struggles with.
Good ransomware protection software will give you the ability to rollback your systems before the ransomware incident occurred.
It should also keep a detailed record of how the ransomware entered and spread throughout your systems, thus allowing you to seal any cracks in hindsight.
In other words, your ransomware program should not only protect your device it should also help you learn how to anticipate and block potential future attacks.
While Microsoft Defender has undoubtedly made progress since its early iterations, it’s still not a strong enough defense against sophisticated cyber threats.
Microsoft Defender is a great free solution, but given the damage that can be dealt to companies by advanced cyberthreats, paying for greater protection is well worth the cost.
Your Business Needs More Than Antivirus
If your computer were the only way for cybercriminals to break in and hurt your business, having an antivirus program might be enough to protect your data and systems, and that’s a big might.
But cybercriminals are creative, and there are other ways for them to breach your data security.
As mentioned earlier, they can use malware to steal, corrupt, or encrypt your files, and the malware that’s out there can attack not only your computer but even your smartphone and other mobile devices.
General internet-of-things (IoT) devices in your business’s office space are also at risk of being hacked by cybercriminals; such cases are actually expected to rise in frequency given that more and more companies are adopting smart tech.
Another avenue cybercriminals take when seeking to breach your business’s security is hacking into public wifi networks that are often used at cafes or restaurants.
Suppose a criminal has the wherewithal to get the right tools. In that case, they can spy on what you’re doing online, monitor what forms you’re filling out, and steal otherwise private information you’re communicating while connected to public wifi.
If you’re unlucky, they may even use that information to upgrade their nefarious activity into a phishing attack, using your business credentials to trick other members within your organization to give up even more valuable data.
Incidents of identity theft described above are increasing, no doubt in part due to the proliferation of remote work worldwide. Unfortunately, antivirus isn’t a reliable way to protect your business’s critical data from threats like this.
This should not come as a surprise, of course. When defending anything of substantial value, a business should employ multiple defense layers to anticipate better and counter various angles of attack.
In the next section, we’ll explore some solid alternatives to Microsoft Defender, but you might even try using some of them in tandem with the program.
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.