Has Your Tech Company Disabled Windows Security?

written by DARREN COLEMAN posted on September 20, 2021

If you’ve hired an IT company for cybersecurity, there is one small detail you can check to make sure it’s the right one– Windows Security. Some IT companies will choose to disable Windows Security, but for a variety of reasons, this is not recommended. Here is how to check if your Windows Security is disabled, as well as the importance of keeping it enabled.

How Do I Know if My Windows Security Is Disabled?

If you suspect that your IT company may have disabled Windows Security, it’s very simple to check. Open up the Settings application by pressing the Windows key or clicking on the Start menu. Then navigate to Security and Updates at the bottom. After clicking on this, click Windows Security on the left sidebar. If you open Windows Security and it’s disabled, the device will display a message stating that your IT administrator has disabled Windows Security.

Disabled Windows Security

Why Do Some IT Administrators Disable Windows Security?

The main reason some IT administrators choose to disable Windows Security is that it is oftentimes incompatible with legacy applications. Other IT companies may disable Windows Security to install different antivirus software. However, in between installing new software, there should always be some form of protection in case anything were to happen before the installation.

Some also may disable it if there was an error in the Windows update since Windows updates are what keep Windows Security up-to-date. A responsible IT company, however, shouldn’t disable it to resolve this issue. They should be able to troubleshoot the update error.

Why Is Keeping Windows Security Enabled Important?

While some IT companies will prefer certain antivirus software over Windows Security, it’s vital that you keep it enabled. This is not only because of the antivirus capabilities of the application, but it also protects your network, Microsoft accounts, and devices. Here are a few important reasons to keep Windows Security enabled:

Network Security

In terms of network security, Windows Security has a firewall for use in private, public, and domain networks. Firewalls are essential for network security because it allows your business to control the traffic flow from the network to devices and vice versa. In simpler terms, cybercriminals can access valuable data and communications from your devices. Without a firewall, they may be able to do the following:

  • Steal trade secrets
  • Leak confidential company data in a data breach
  • Steal and use client information (such as for identity theft)
  • Delete all company data
  • Hold your devices and/or data for ransom until you pay a large sum of money (and sometimes, even if you pay it, the cybercriminals won’t release the devices)
  • Install and run various types of malware
  • Spy on your device activity

Recent data from IBM suggests that the cost of data breaches is increasing. Currently, businesses are losing 4.24 million USD (approximately 5.4 million in Canadian dollars) on average, which is greater than the cost of data breaches in 2020. Considering that data breaches are not the only security threat you face when disabling Windows Security firewall protection, your business simply can’t afford to go without it.

Device Security

Windows Security has a range of device security options that your company’s devices should not go without. One of these options is Secure Boot, which will prevent malware from loading when devices restart. This is an important feature to keep enabled because when the device resets, usually malware will along with it. Ransomware, for example, will continue to encrypt files once the device is rebooted. Safe Boot adds another safeguard on top of existing antivirus solutions and makes rebooting your devices much safer.

Windows Security also has an option to check the status and specs of the trusted platform module, or TPM, which is a chip installed in your device’s hardware for extra security. Windows Security also makes it simple to troubleshoot any TPM issues that may arise.

Antivirus Protection

There is no perfect antivirus software that can detect every single threat without fail. However, some pieces of antivirus software are certainly better than others. Among the many options, Windows Security’s antivirus is among the top-rated antivirus software. PC Magazine gave the software a 9.6 protection score using data from its tests, including a 96% detection rate and a 99% malicious URL blocking score. Both of these are higher percentages than the majority of the options on the list.

Another advantage to using it as opposed to different antivirus software is that it requires no installation– your devices are protected from the outset so long as it’s enabled. If the IT company you’re using plans on switching to a different antivirus software down the line, your devices will remain protected while the installation is in progress.

Is It Normal for IT Companies To Disable Windows Security?

In general, it is not common for IT companies to disable Windows Security. This is because experienced IT professionals know the benefits of Windows Security, as well as how to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. For example, for application compatibility issues, an experienced IT professional will know how to whitelist certain applications as well as change settings around to make them run properly. They will never use disabling Windows Security as a shortcut since it leaves your devices and data exposed to various cyber threats.

Because of this, having Windows Security disabled by your IT administrator is a red flag. In many situations, it indicates a lack of knowledge and a sense of carelessness. In that case, it’s best to find an IT company that values your company’s cybersecurity measures enough to leave it enabled. This is especially the case if the IT administrator did not communicate with you ahead of time that they’d be taking this measure. Your company needs an IT company that is willing to offer superior cybersecurity solutions with proper communication.

If this has happened to you and you’re looking for a new IT company, our team at Coleman Technologies is here to help. At Coleman Technologies, we understand how important modern and proactive cybersecurity solutions are. Contact us today to find out more about our IT services and get a free consultation.

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