Steps to Buying Antivirus

Step one

  • Identify the needs of your organisation and your users. If users access the internet via a dedicated server, then only the server needs to have an antivirus package installed. You have to consider PC and laptop users with direct internet access. Although it is possible to have an antivirus on every PC, once an organisation has more than ten PC’s it becomes increasingly difficult to manage. For example, keeping a server updated is a straight forward task but to replicate this on, say 20 PCs is cumbersome as the users need to keep their PCs updated and scanned regularly.
  • Understand your requirements – this can be achieved by talking with perhaps two or three antivirus suppliers. For example if you have an email server you must make sure that this is covered too.
  • Make sure any antivirus programme you choose is listed on the >ICSA Labs list. This proves that it has passed tests to find if it gives adequate protection.
  • Free demonstration versions are often available for 30 days. This gives you a chance to try out the software and make sure that it matches your requirements. Also, if it is difficult to use, you may wish to consider an alternative.

Step two

  • Remember that you will usually need to subscribe or pay for updates after the first year. Find out how much an annual subscription costs, and factor that in when comparing prices. Check for any special offers that include extra annual subscription.
  • If you have laptop computers that aren’t connected to a centrally managed system because they are used by remote or mobile workers, ensure that they can still get updates from the manufacturer.
  • Make sure that your antivirus software supports the version of Exchange Server you are running and the latest Microsoft Virus Scanning technology, assuming you are using Microsoft products! Evaluate how quickly various antivirus software vendors release updates. Also verify that your antivirus software is compatible with service packs and product updates.
  • The traditional method of protecting against viruses and other malicious software is to install an antivirus program on each workstation and on servers that connect to the internet, such as email and web servers.

Step three

Identify the right supplier.

  • Use Conjungo’s ‘Find Antivirus suppliers’ search facility on the right of this page.
  • Find out who has the experience of working for a company of the same size and profile as yours and how many similar installations they have made.
  • Ask for references – ensure that the company you plan to work with is capable and reliable.
  • Ask to speak with a couple of their customers in order to see what benefits they have gained.
  • Get a credit check to ensure that they are financially stable. You can get this directly from the supplier details in Conjungo.

Step four

Request a proposal from three or four of your preferred suppliers.


Step five

Select a proposal.

  • Who best demonstrates that they understand your business and your requirements?
  • Is the solution flexible and scaleable and therefore able to meet future demand? You don’t want to find out later that by investing a little more money now will save you money later.
  • Is it cost effective? Does it demonstrate clearly the functional benefits – rather than telling a list of particular features, does the proposal clearly show what the benefits are? There is no point on spending money for system with features that are of no benefit or that you will never use!
  • How much do the software (licences) cost?
  • How much will software support cost?
  • Can any savings be made by agreeing a multi-year contract for support?
  • How will your potential supplier support and maintain your system afterwards?
  • How much will this cost?
  • Have you spoken to a couple of your preferred supplier’s customers?
  • Agree on financial terms – you may be required to pay a deposit but do not pay the whole amount in advance of delivery.