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  • antivirus... is it always necessary ?

    posted in coffee lounge for more of casual chatter than anything else.


    Antivirus... is it always necessary? I know personally on my home computers, I don't use Antivirus, and haven't in a very long time. I trust my home network, I trust myself, and I trust my wife. Every so often, I run malware bytes just to check. I keep a solid eye on my system, and know what I've installed when, what belongs where, what is out of place, and get curious when things misperform.


    So it's not all bad, right? But then I consider.. I spend a lot of time on other people's networks. Just out of courtesy and respect for them, I should probably have AV installed - noone is infallible (except maybe me:P) so what if something has slipped past me?



    Anyway.. the reason I started thinking about this.. is do you think Antivirus is absolutely, always, necessary.
    Is it the Final Solution to all computer security problems, or is it part of a wider, defense-in-depth process?
    Are there some instances where it may not be necessary, on business networks ?

    would you ever consider only having it on the file server, or only on the workstations?
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  • #2
    Re: antivirus... is it always necessary ?

    Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.

    Personally I think it is necessary, because no matter how careful you are there are application vulnerabilities, infected websites, etc etc out there. I haven't had any myself because I'm careful and have AV and Firewalls in place. In fact the only servers I don't put AV on are standalone ISA/TMG servers.

    And like you I spend time VPN'd to other people's networks, who although customers of ours with AV and Firewalls and all the rest of it, aren't as careful as I am. Not only that, I can't imagine the consequences if I introduced an infection into a customer's network.
    BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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    Cruachan's Blog

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    • #3
      Re: antivirus... is it always necessary ?

      On all workstations, including my own, I have AV. Just in case, its never slowed me down, so why not.

      But on servers, I have not have AV installed for many years. There is generally no user login, and AV on a server has caused me lots of headaches.

      Certainly everyone has their stories, but along with best practices and division of credentials, its just unnecessary. .........and clients are prohibited to login on a server, it voids the warranty
      "...if I turn out to be particularly clear, you've probably misunderstood what I've said” - Alan Greenspan

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      • #4
        Re: antivirus... is it always necessary ?

        No, we don't need anti-virus or seatelts in cars or even brakes for that matter.

        A/V is not the final solution but a part of the solution. Just like Malware scanner, Root kit scanner, Firewall (I know it doesn't stop virus). I run 2 A/V apps, Malwarebytes, RootKit and I still I am paranoid.

        Spybot I liked because it let you know when something was trying to go the wrong way from your machine. Clicking ok all the time got annoying. Ditto ZoneAlarms; great but annoying having to click approvals or denials for the first 2 to 4 weeks.

        Read an article written by a leading world A/V expert or was it virus expert. Anyway he ran A/V on his machines and if it is good enough for him then it is good enough for me. MSE is small, produces a lot of false positives but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy (and the expert used it also). What is the point of using something that is a couple of hundred MB and still missed most virus and I am not going to even mention Symantec's name.

        My wife is the second most hopeless computer user I know (I have left number 1 spot free on the off chance that there is someone worse) and in 11 months with her new laptop it hasn't gotten a virus. Has been infected with a DNS redirector and some spyware/malware but NO virus yet.

        Wish I had kept a copy of the article. You would have crapped yourself at the virus numbers now being released each day.

        For your clients, remember that they are idiots and MUST be protected from themselves. A/V is essential and MUST be kept up to date. If you don't install A/V on their machines, you will end up with multiple infections, downtime, the boss/manager asking why they keep getting infected and you losing them to someone who will tell them they have a moron looking after their network. True?

        [Got a great image to attach but need to find the damn thing now. Will dump it on later.]
        1 1 was a racehorse.
        2 2 was 1 2.
        1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
        2 2 1 1 2

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        • #5
          Re: antivirus... is it always necessary ?

          I see a lot of these threads. What's the best AV, do I need AV.

          Some people state you don't need AV so long as you are careful. Sorry, that's rubbish. The problem is that even legitmate, reputable websites are regularly infected and you have no control over that. One day you go to your favourite website and it is OK, the next day, hello drive-by download!

          AV, as part of a comprehensive protection plan, is essential. I don't allow any staff VPN access to our network unless they can prove they have up-to-date, reputable AV and firewall installed.
          A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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          • #6
            Re: antivirus... is it always necessary ?

            Yeah I would have to say its a necessity. Granted AV isn't going to stop everything, thats why we run webfiltering, IPS, etc. Im in the situation that since I work for a real estate company, we allow agent machines (Agent owned machines) to join our network. We do force policy and "our" antivirus solution on them but they still get infected from time to time. BYOD is getting so common now that AV, filtering, IPS, NAC is almost mandatory at this point. I even run AV on my Mac now just as a precaution.
            CCNA, CCNA-Security, CCNP
            CCIE Security (In Progress)

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            • #7
              Re: antivirus... is it always necessary ?

              I'm with the others on this.

              I think AV, firewall and malware systems on users machines are now a must. I have had systems infegted with malware that my AV scanner has not picked up and we have had to use a variety of tools to get rid of them.

              We also use consultants and if one came onto the premises without an AV scanner minimum they would be turned away at the door. I will not risk my infrastructure because someone thinks its not necessary.

              @tehcamel:

              How do you know your not infected with something if you haven't scanned your PC with an AV scanner??

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              • #8
                Re: antivirus... is it always necessary ?

                Finally found the infection image and why A/V should be installed. This is an ACTUAL screenshot of a machine a mate cleaned up. Personally I would have formatted the sucker.

                Click image for larger version

Name:	just-an-infection-or-2.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	127.5 KB
ID:	466551

                A pretty good infection ratio.
                1 1 was a racehorse.
                2 2 was 1 2.
                1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                2 2 1 1 2

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                • #9
                  Re: antivirus... is it always necessary ?

                  That's amazing. Did the machine grind to a halt? Is that why your friend was called in
                  A recent poll suggests that 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not happy

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                  • #10
                    Re: antivirus... is it always necessary ?

                    That's a lot of STDs man lol!
                    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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                    • #11
                      Re: antivirus... is it always necessary ?

                      [QUOTE-Blood;260348]That's amazing. Did the machine grind to a halt? Is that why your friend was called in[/QUOTE]
                      Not quite but it did take 20-30 minutes to boot and apps opened and worked v e r r r r r y s l o w l y.


                      Originally posted by Wired View Post
                      That's a lot of STDs man lol!
                      With that many STDs it should have been called drippy dick.
                      1 1 was a racehorse.
                      2 2 was 1 2.
                      1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                      2 2 1 1 2

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