Is your antivirus modern enough?

You don’t have to be an IT expert to have heard of antivirus protection.

But it’s important to remember that not all antivirus software is created equal, and like all things, they can become outdated overtime.

Becoming outdated might be alright for fashion, but not your cyber security, of which your antivirus plays a crucial role.

What is Signature based antivirus?

Signature based antivirus was the standard type of antivirus.

It utilises a database of known malware, and blocks them from compromising your system.

It’s a simple process.

  1. A new virus or malware variant is discovered
  2. An antivirus vendor creates a new signature to protect against that specific piece of malware.
  3. The antivirus or malware signature is tested, and then pushed out to the vendor’s customers in the form of a signature update.

If it helps imagine signature based antivirus like a list of customers banned from a shop for stealing. However, the list of banned customers is made up of their exact description, right down to the freckles. In others words, their exact signature.

This means that banned customers can return time and time again undetected, just by changing how they present themselves, a simple change in their signature. Whether that’s a big change or a small one. Each alteration gives the criminals an opportunity to try again.

Why is Signature based antivirus outdated?

The effectiveness of signature based antivirus depends on antivirus companies building and maintaining an ever expanding database of malware signatures. Your signature based antivirus can only stop what it knows about.

Signature based antivirus relies on YOU updating your own antivirus programme. Each update will expand its database of known viruses, but you have to download it first. Which is simple enough, if you remember to do it.

If you keep postponing it, or forgetting to update, your antivirus will have no clue about the newly known threats.

Here’s a blog about why it’s crucial for businesses to stay on top of their updates

The more expanded the database of malware signatures becomes, the more effective it is. However it requires more space on your hard drive, which could have a negative effects on your computer’s performance overtime.

What is Behavioural based antivirus?

This is a proactive antivirus strategy, instead of a reactive one like signature based methods.

Behaviour-based blocking techniques, analyse files by looking at how they’re acting and what they’re attempting to do, rather than comparing them to a list of known threats.

The behaviour is determined by sophisticated algorithms, which focus on real-time protection. This allows for protection against new malware threats.

Why you should be using Behavioral based antivirus?

Malware is produced and evolved at such a fast rate that antivirus companies had to transition away from the database system of signature based antivirus, and toward the superior behavioral system.

  • It protects against new and unknown types of malware attacks.
  • It can detect an individual or one-time instance of malware targeted at one organization or one person.
  • It can identify what malware will do in a specific environment when files are opened
  • It obtains comprehensive information about the malware, helping analysts classify the object and respond appropriately to potential threats

Final thoughts

Behaviour based antivirus should be your standard for antivirus. If you’re unsure about your businesses antivirus, or your cyber security on general,  we’d love to help you get set up properly. So that your cyber security works for you.

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