Antivirus Software: Which One Should An Agent Choose?
By Mark E. Ruquet
Recently, an attack from a computer virus reduced the Internet to a crawl. The attack hit Microsoft SQL servers, exploiting a vulnerability for which the company had already prepared a defense patch. The patch was available to all users but never installed in time by the affected users.
Those affected had the information technology people in place to make repairs, get the patch in place, and eventually get things up and running again.
The lesson here for agents is that because their systems are exposed to so much Internet traffic, it is essential to make certain the agency has good, up-to-date antivirus software for its operation.
Probably the two biggest questions for an agent are what to choose and how often to update the antivirus software of choice.
Agents say they make their choices on someones recommendation. That someone could be the agency management provider or someone they rely upon for technology assistance, whether it is a consultant or friend.
The two most popular antivirus software producers are Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec, best known for its Norton antivirus system, and McAfee, part of Network Associates Technology Inc., based in Santa Clara, Calif.
One important factor in choosing antivirus software is its compatibility with the agency management system.
A user of Applied Systems management system, Melissa McCage, commercial lines manager for the firm of Dulaney, Johnston, a subsidiary of insurance broker Hilb, Rogal, and Hamilton Co., based in Richmond, Va., says her firm uses the Norton system on the advice of University Park, Ill.-based Applied. Norton has been a part of the firms technology system for three years now, she said, and it has done all they have ever expected of it.
If there is a complaint about the system, it is that it is memory intensive, she noted. In order to run it along with the Applied system, McCage explains, the agency “made some alterations to make it run as quick as it can run,” based on the technical advice of Applied.
Ed Higgins, principal of the Thousand Island Agency in Clayton, N.Y., uses Ebix agency management system. His Norton antivirus software had conflicts with the Atlanta, Ga.-based companys system and he switched to McAfee.
Higgins, who is also the chairman of the Agents Council for Technology, says finding an antivirus software package that is suitable with their agency management system is their biggest challenge.
“Its like a car. I dont know how the engine works, but I want to make sure the car will drive,” he observes. He adds that to have the antivirus software is essential because “getting a virus can ruin your day.”