TechLinks: Antivirus software for court reporters

Antivirus software is a data security utility that is installed on a computer system/PC to protect from viruses, spyware, malware, rootkits, Trojans, phishing attacks, spam attacks, and other online cyber threats. Geekflare offers some good tips and advice on the advantages of using an antivirus program.

Our NCRA Tech Committee has offered several articles on security in the past, and they are available on TheJCR.com. They are linked at the bottom of this article.

Lou Chiodo, CLVS, New York, N.Y., a member of the Tech Committee, has these insights to offer about antivirus programs: “On selecting your antivirus program, think globally and consider the computer platform you use. Even as a Mac user, it is my opinion that Mac users also need protection. It is not always necessary to pay for a reliable antivirus program. You will, however, get additional features and convenience from a paid platform and especially from a suite, as it covers many of the other items one may need for safekeeping your computer or device. In turn, it contributes to safeguarding your business responsibilities. Some of the extra features include: File Backup, Anti-spam, Privacy Filter, Instant Message Protection, Firewall, and Browser Toolbar Protection. 

“One final thing,” Chiodo adds, “Always download software from trusted sites.”

Chiodo offers his list of preferences in the table below.

BITDEFENDER https://www.bitdefender.com/ Best Pick for both free and paid
TREND MICRO Internet Security 2018 https://www.trendmicro.com/en_us/business.html Paid
AVAST https://www.avast.com Free and paid
AVIRA https://www.avira.com/ Free and paid
AVG https://www.avg.com Free and paid
PANDA DOME Essential Internet Security 2018 https://www.pandasecurity.com/usa/ Paid
NORTON SECURITY DELUXE https://us.norton.com/ Paid (resource intensive)
MS Win Defender – (only to be relied upon in conjunction with another Anti-Virus product) https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/comprehensive-security Paid

Robin L. Nodland, FAPR, RDR, CRR, a freelance reporter and owner of LNS Court Reporting & Legal Video in Portland, Ore., offers these thoughts: “At LNS, we use Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus. It is one of the top-rated programs from PC Magazine who refers to Webroot as a tiny dynamo. The program is loaded on all of our office desktops and laptops. Unlike some other antivirus programs, it will not use up your resources while keeping you safe, as most of the functionality is in the cloud. The program includes malware, ransomware, and phishing protection, a firewall bonus, and much more. In addition, we use Proofpoint for our email protection. As our IT pro, Mike, says: ‘The internet is not your friend.’ So it’s all shields up for us.” 

Then, finally, Kevin Hunt, a freelancer and agency owner based in Buffalo, N.Y., and a member of the Tech Committee, offers this invaluable advice about his experience with antivirus software: “Our firm switched to a program called Sophos that our IT folks recommended. I had never heard of this software before. After doing some investigation, we decided to implement it. We’re a networked firm running Linux with a total employee staff of 30 plus running desktops and laptops. We’re using the endpoint and email filter features of Sophos. Since this is a relatively new implementation for us, I can’t say we’ve had a long history of successful virus protection/email spam reduction with Sophos — but so far so good.”

Hunt offered his additional thoughts on Sophos Endpoint:

  1. Sophos is a top-rated endpoint solution, earning highest marks from SE Labs, Forrester, and Gartner, to name a few.
  2. Sophos Endpoint Advanced with Intercept X offers a truly comprehensive next-generation endpoint protection solution.
    1. Artificial intelligence in the form of a deep-learning neural network, which is an advanced form of machine learning that detects both known and unknown malware without relying on signatures.
    2. Consolidated protection and EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) provides not only the ability to prevent attacks but also to stop attacks that are able to avoid preemptive detection and provide valuable forensic information to enable you to identify and remediate holes in your defenses.
    3. Automated attack response not only stops an active ransomware attack but also unencrypts any files affected before the active attack was stopped.
    4. Intercept X includes the industry’s most powerful malware cleaner that provides forensic-level remediation by eradicating malicious code as well as eliminating any residual registry key changes.
    5. Sophos’ cloud-based admin portal provides for real-time granular policy management and enforcement.
    6. Synchronized Security – probably Sophos’ biggest victory. This is the concept that security solutions should talk to each other to provide greater defense-in-depth. The idea here is that if the endpoint solution reports that a device is compromised, the endpoint client communicates this posture to the Sophos firewall (assuming, of course, you’re using a Sophos firewall) and the firewall cuts off the ability of that infected device to talk to other parts of the internal network or to the internet. Once the infection is fixed, the client communicates the “OK” to the firewall, which then restores the endpoint’s connectivity. This is a revolutionary concept and really only possible from a vendor that provides solutions at multiple levels. A vendor that only provides an endpoint solution is not going to be able to offer this type of protection if they don’t also provide edge solutions like firewalls.

Sophos Email Filter

  1. Easily integrates into the same cloud-based admin portal that manages the endpoint solution for true single pane-of-glass management.
  2. Leverages the same neural network and artificial intelligence as the endpoint solution and also takes advantage of Sophos’ massive threat intelligence database for known and potentially threatening vectors.
  3. Time-of-click URL protections checks the website reputation of email links before delivery and also when accessed, clocking stealthy delayed attacks.
  4. Leverages SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication techniques as well as header analysis to help better distinguish and permit legitimate emails from true threats.

The NCRA Technology Committee is taking your questions on topics surrounding realtime and technology. Send the questions you want the Technology Committee members to tackle to jcrfeedback@ncra.org.

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Protect your computer

Protect Your Computer

Antivirus programs can protect your computer,
but which one is best for you?

While it is important to protect your computer from viruses, malware, and spyware, the wrong antivirus software can slow down your computer or interfere with your ability to realtime or caption. How can you balance protecting your computer with great computer performance?

First things first

Members of the Technology Evaluation Committee took up this question. All of them agreed that your first source for information should be your software vendor. To assist you in figuring out what antivirus software to put on your system, we asked the major CAT software companies what works best with their programs (see chart below).

Several of the vendors also noted that the settings for the program make a difference. So, if the antivirus program is slowing down your computer, one of the first things you should do is check the settings to see if it can make your CAT program an exception. Further information may be available through your software vendor.

Free antivirus software

Most of the Technology Evaluation Committee members use one of the major free programs, with several people mentioning AVG, Microsoft Security Essentials, and ESET NOD32 (see chart for additional notes). However, a few of the committee members take a belt-and-suspenders approach to antivirus protection and run more than one program. For instance, G. Allen Sonntag, RDR, CRR, of Oro Valley, Ariz., runs both Microsoft Security Essentials and AVG on his system. “I let Win 7 run Microsoft Security Essentials, which is free and part of the OS. I use AVG Free version, and I’ve never had a virus problem in the past few years, certainly since working on Win 7,” says Sonntag.

Pay for protection

“I use the less intrusive Microsoft Security Essentials software and augmented it with a program called malwarebytes, which is an anti-malware program. I chose to augment with the malwarebytes after lots of research and reading recommendations from some leading computer magazines. The great thing about using this combination is that once you purchase the Pro version of malwarebytes, it gives you a lifetime license for all future updates for it, no yearly fee, and currently that’s $24.95. That means you have the free protection from Microsoft, augmented by a one-time cost for the malware program,” says Sue Terry, RPR, CRR, of Springfield, Ohio.

And while some antivirus programs are just a free download away, Terry isn’t the only one to put money in to keep her computer clean.

Kim Neeson, RPR, CRR, CBC, CCP, of Toronto, Ontario, and Christine Phipps, RPR, of West Palm Beach, Fla., chose Norton 360 Premier 2013. Phipps says that Norton has a few additional advantages, such as storing passwords for browsers and offering 25 gigs of free online storage.

Nancy Bistany, RPR, of Chicago, Ill., uses prevx.com. “I purchased it several years ago at the recommendation of one of the executives at Stenograph, and I have never had an issue with it interfering with my hardware/software interface, especially in a realtime writing environment,” she says.

Robin Nodland, RDR, CRR, of Portland, Ore., says that her company uses Trend Micro Worry Free Business Services, an outside service that provides a hosted antivirus solution for smalland medium-sized business. While this option isn’t for everyone, Nodland notes that it comes with a lot of extras:

  • Web-based administration
  • Centralized control and settings
  • Keyword filtering
  • Attachment filtering blocking
  • Alerts via email
  • Outbreak defense
  • Proactive Web filtering to block known (triple verified) bad websites
  • Minimal impact on the local system

Choose your browser

A few people mention that choosing browsers carefully plays a role in protecting computers from viruses. Sonntag also mentions, “I use Chrome for my browser, and I find its sandboxing technology to be great in protecting me from bad stuff.”

Others find using a less well-known browser, such as Safari or Firefox, protects them from attack, because viruses are usually built to attack the most well-known program.

Christine Phipps, RPR, of West Palm Beach, Fla., who uses Firefox as her browser, says, “Downloads from the Internet go into a ‘Downloads’ folder first. All downloads are then checked by [my antivirus program] Norton, which will give me a ‘Safe to proceed’ message before continuing on with the installation process.”

One final note about antivirus software from the group is to remember to run updates for the program — whichever one you choose. Most of the companies update the list frequently as new viruses are developed or old viruses try new tactics. As Sandy VanderPol, RMR, CRR, of Lotus, Calif., says, “I’ve never had a virus, but I’m careful to have [the program] on auto update and run it.

VENDOR RECOMMENDATIONS AND SETTINGS

What the CAT software companies recommend

Software (company) Recommended antivirus program Additional comments Cost
Case CATalyst
(Stenograph)
Any antivirus software If errors occur, check your computer settings per “Avoid ‘CAT’astrophe
with your antivirus.”
Varies
digitalCAT
(Stenovations)
Microsoft Security Essentials (microsoft.com) and Avast (avast.com) According to the company, the antivirus programs that seem to conflict with digitalCAT are Norton,
McAfee, and Trend.
Both recommended programs are free.
Eclipse
(Advantage Software)
Almost all antivirus software works with Eclipse, but the company recommends Microsoft Security Essentials (microsoft.com). New viruses mean that antivirus software companies are always updating their programs, so updating their programs, so conflicts between antivirus software and CAT software can occur unexpectedly. For that reason, what works today may not work tomorrow. Advantage recommends Security Essentials because “no one is more motivated than Microsoft to quickly identify and resolve potential threats.” Free
Winner
(ProCAT)
AVG (avg.com) The company suggests users to make Winner an exception within AVG. Free


ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE CHOICES

Antivirus Program Website User comments Cost
AVG Antivirus FREE 2013 avg.com Lisa Knight, RMR, CRR, says, “I have never had an issue with it interfering with my realtime or other important aspects of my job.” Free
ESET NOD32 eset.com Jim Woitalla, RDR, CRI, says, “I like that it’s not a resource hog, doesn’t interfere with realtime, and provides excellent protection while surfing the net and filtering email.” Free
Microsoft Security Essentials Go to Microsoft.com, type in ‘Security Essentials,’ and find the download page for the free download. G. Allen Sonntag, RDR, CRR, says, “It’s easy on the CPU and usage cycles.” Free
Norton 360
Premier 2013
Norton.com Kim Neeson, RPR, CRR, CBC, CCP, says, “Norton was recommended by my computer technician, and I have not had any issues with it interfering with any of my court reporting work.” One year of protection for up to three personal computers is $59.99.
Prevx prevx.com Nancy Bistany, RPR, “I have never had an issue with it interfering with my hardware/software interface, especially in a realtime writing environment.” The cost varies, but it runs approximately $30 for a year.
Trend Micro Worry Business Services trendmicro.com Robin Nodland, RDR, CRR, says, “As a company, we no longer have to update software or definitions; it’s all handled  automatically and unnoticed by the user. “ About $28 per computer per year, according to Nodland.

 

Avoid “cat”astrophe with your antivirus

By James Kuta

For the vast majority of us, the antivirus software we use was already installed on the computer we purchased. Fortunately, Case CATalyst is compatible with all major antivirus software you might be aware of and a few you may not. Unfortunately, every antivirus, on occasion, interferes with the normal operation of software you want to use. The good news is a few simple setting changes can keep Case CATalyst from falling victim to well-intentioned yet overly protective antivirus software.

Adding an exception

Virtually all antivirus software gives you the option of excluding a program from its realtime scanning. This is commonly called “adding an exception.” The goal of the realtime scanner is to monitor the creation and modification of files and then block any perceived threats. By excluding Case CATalyst from realtime scanning, you lessen the likelihood of the antivirus interfering with the normal creation and modification of your jobs.

Each antivirus has its own steps for adding an exception and an Internet search or visiting your antivirus’ website will give you the steps needed. If your antivirus allows you to exclude a folder from realtime scanning, exclude the C:\CAT4 folder. CAT4 is the default Case CATalyst installation folder. If you installed to a different directory, exclude that directory instead. If your antivirus only allows for files to be excluded, exclude the CaseCATalyst.exe; it will be located inside of the Case CATalyst installation folder.

Scheduling an automatic full scan

In addition to realtime scanning, antivirus software performs what is commonly called a full scan. A full scan can take a long time to complete and uses significant computer resources, the same resources Case CATalyst needs. The goal of a full scan is to identify a threat anywhere on your computer. Typically, a full scan will start automatically at a scheduled time daily or weekly. You don’t want this scheduled time to be when you need those computer resources for Case CATalyst.

Again, each antivirus has its own steps for enabling, disabling, and scheduling an automatic full scan. What’s important is that you configure your antivirus to run the full scan on a day or at a time when you do not expect to be using Case CATalyst.

James Kuta is Stenograph’s product manager.