Free Antivirus Software: The Consequences of Being Cheap

By Gary Cox

laptopImagine for a minute that you’re the CEO of a scrappy, promising new start-up. In the beginning, it was just you and two other employees working on dinky PCs out of a 12 by 12 foot office, but things are picking up.

The company is growing rapidly and heading into uncharted waters. You’re so busy with building your business, you haven’t had time to think about cybersecurity.

Have You Been In This Position Before?

As your company moves into the public eye — and, in turn, the hungry eyes of potential hackers — you realize you need to lock down your data. At this critical stage, a cyber-attack could mean the death of everything you and your team have built.

But the budget is looking lean. Everything you’ve done so far has been by the skin of your teeth, so why should security be any different?

You put one of your more tech-savvy employees on the case, tasking him with finding the cheapest cyber security solutions available. Sure, he may not be an expert, but he understands computers. What could go wrong?

He scours the web and peruses dozens of articles on the “Cheap and Effective Firewall Software.” He finds one that costs next to nothing and installs it in 10 hours with the help of a scrappy how-to guide.

He reports back to you: crisis averted. You breathe a sigh of relief and turn your attention to other matters. You promise yourself you’ll install better software later, when there’s more money in the bank.

Fast-forward to the following year. Business is booming. The phone is ringing off the hook, new clients are flooding in and your profit margin is exploding. You even snag a feature in Entrepreneur Magazine.

You’ve finally gotten over the start-up hump — or so you think.

The Consequences of Free Antivirus Software

You wake up one morning, and find out all of your company’s assets have been hacked. An advanced strain of ransomware sidestepped your free antivirus software.

You’re locked out of everything; from client data to basic Word documents. All of the company’s digital assets lie behind an encrypted paywall. It demands $50,000 in Bitcoin to get everything back. You don’t have the money.

Suddenly all of the success you’ve earned seems laughable. Your company is gone forever, because you didn’t have the foresight to invest in a robust cyber security solution.

The Truth about Cyber-Attacks

This may sound like rare occurrence, but business owners all over the world are hacked each and every day.

A 2016 IBM security study revealed just how common cyber-attacks are. Half the businesses surveyed claim they’ve paid over $10,000 in ransomware payoffs during their company’s lifespan. A shocking 20% have paid over $40,000.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Forbes estimates that cyber-crime costs will reach $2 trillion by 2019.

Don’t take shortcuts on cyber security when your time, money and business are on the line. It simply doesn’t pay to be cheap when choosing a cyber security solution.

Let’s break down the numbers.

Say you’re “saving” $1000 a month with free anti-virus software. Lo and behold, a virus punches its way into your company’s assets and causes chaos.

Now you must spend thousands of dollars to 1. Figure out the problem and 2. Fix it. Even if you manage to expel the virus from your system, you might not recover all your assets.

Final Words of Wisdom

Don’t risk throwing those thousands of dollars down the drain on an uncertain outcome. Invest in a trustworthy cyber security solution.

Beware of free antivirus software, “giveaway” cyber-protection, or “$5 firewall.” Hackers will cut through these like a hot knife through warm butter. They seek out prehistoric, cheapo barriers guarding priceless company data and target it with attacks.

You wouldn’t buy a rusty, second hand old lock for your house, so why are you installing primitive cyber security software to protect your most precious company resources?

In a world where cybercrime is rampant, a hacker is bound to come knocking at your digital door sooner or later. When that day comes, do you want a free piece of software that you saw on Life Hacker? Or a tried, true and tested solution?

Don’t be short-sighted when it comes to your data. Invest in your company’s future, and protect yourself with the most powerful tools on the market.

Get ahead of hackers before they destroy everything you own.

Call us on 072-898-0362 to answer your questions or to provide Computer and IT Support, we would be happy to hear from you. We at GCComp have the experience and technical knowledge to help your business with your technology issues “We know technology so you don’t have to”. 


Published by Coxy

A confident and talented IT technician with extensive practical experience of working with computers and resolving any support issues that are raised to him. Possessing a proven ability to administer and control the operation, configuration and maintenance of computer based information systems, as well as having an eye for detail and able to multi-task under pressure.

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