As a small business owner, you can’t ignore the importance of antivirus software. Computer viruses, as well as other forms of malware, target consumers and businesses alike. According to a U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) report, however, nearly one in three small businesses don’t use antivirus software. In comparison, 80% of consumers use antivirus software. Why is antivirus software important for your small business exactly?

Safeguards Sensitive Data

With antivirus software, you can rest assured knowing that your small business’s sensitive data will be better protected against breaches. Data breaches are often the result of viruses. If a virus infects your computer, it may capture and steal your small business’s sensitive data. Antivirus software will prevent all data breaches from occurring. Nonetheless, it will protect your small business from malware-related data breaches.

Protects Against New and Old Viruses

Antivirus software will protect your small business from both new and old viruses. While there are different types of antivirus software, most of them leverage a database of signatures. Each signature is a digital footprint of a specific virus. As new viruses are discovered, their signatures are added to these databases. Therefore, as long as you keep your antivirus software updated to the latest version, it will protect against new and old viruses alike.

Automatic Protection

Another reason your small business needs antivirus software is for automatic protection. Many small business owners don’t have the time or skills needed to manually defend against cyber threats. Antivirus software, though, offers automatic protection. They will scan files and apps in real time. When you open a file or app, for instance, the antivirus software will scan it. You won’t have to manually scan the file or app, nor will you have to perform any other manual actions. Antivirus software offers automatic, around-the-clock protection.

More Than Just Viruses

Contrary to what its name suggests, antivirus software protects against multiple forms of malware. It’s not limited to just viruses. Antivirus software does, in fact, protect against viruses, but it can protect your small business from other forms of malware as well, including ransomware, keyloggers, worms, trojans and more.

Complements Other Cybersecurity Solutions

Antivirus software will complement other cybersecurity solutions. You can use it in conjunction with a firewall, for example. A firewall will scan and filter traffic coming into your small business’s network, whereas the antivirus software will scan stored files and apps for malware.