Comprehensive anti-virus and malware software monitors, analyzes and tests potential security threats in order to minimize a network’s risk of viruses, malware and other cyberattacks.
In 2017, the term “ransomware” surged onto the world’s radar. WannaCry, considered to be one of the largest cyberattacks in history, broke out in May, affecting more than 100,000 organizations in 150 countries. Six months later, ransomware attacks like Petya continue to hit the headlines, making it all the more crucial for organizations to up their guard against malware.
Here’s what your organization needs to know about malware and viruses—and what to look for in your Comprehensive Anti-virus and Malware Protection.
Viruses and Malware Are Threatening Your Security
Malware is any malicious software that threatens to break into your computer network. This software can disguise itself in ads, emails or risky websites that trick users into giving up personal information or opening the doors into the network. Many types of malware can infect your computer, including spyware (software that spies on your network to obtain confidential information), adware (unwanted advertisements) and the now-infamous ransomware (an advanced type of malware used to extort money from users). During the first few months of 2017 alone, the number of ransomware attacks increased by 250%.
A virus is just one form of malware. As the name implies, a virus is software that spreads like a parasite once it enters the network. All it takes for a virus to spread is one user to let the virus in. Before you know it, all of the computers and mobile devices in your network are compromised.
Once malware breaks through your network, hackers can look for personal or company information, including credit card numbers or account information. The information can be used to commit crimes like identity theft and phishing scams. Malware costs companies $400 billion every year. Many are turning to anti-virus and malware protection to mitigate that risk.
The Ease of Anti-virus and Malware Protection
Protecting your network from malware is an investment. It’s also a full-time job. As software develops stronger protections, hackers develop stronger malware that can move through more complicated security measures. It’s more crucial than ever to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and tactics in malware. But it can be quite difficult without a dedicated protection service.
When you install high-quality software to carry out anti-virus and malware protection, you can take the work out of protection—and leave your network safety to experts who can find potential malware, warn users of dangerous practices and build stronger protections throughout your network. With anti-virus software in place, your users no longer have to be tech-savvy or know current malware trends in order to keep themselves, and your network, protected.
What Services Do Anti-virus and Malware Protection Provide?
Not all protection services are created equal. Before you recruit anti-virus and malware protection, you should understand exactly what services you are getting, and what additional steps you may have to take in order to keep your network secure.
Be wary of companies that promote “anti-virus” software. Viruses are the most commonly known malware; in the past, the terms “virus” and “malware” were used interchangeably. So were “anti-virus” and “anti-malware.” When software companies promoted anti-virus protection, they may have been addressing different types of malware. Look closely at services that provide anti-virus or anti-malware programs. Anti-virus protection is simply not enough. In order to fully protect your information, you will need to install or purchase protection for all types of malicious software.
But simply installing a software may not be enough. If your software does not come with technical support to assist you through any possible security breach, you may be left high and dry if an emergency does strike.
When selecting anti-malware software and services, make sure you are getting the following:
- Consistent detection and removal of possible malware threats
- Access to security experts through mobile and desktop devices
- Protection from buffer overflow (when a network receives an unexpected overflow of data, leaving it more vulnerable to attacks)
- A service that performs heuristics (analyzing new malware) and removes any possible threats
- Sandboxing (running tests on possible malware in an enclosed, separate system)
- Resources for users on password protection and other best security practices
As with most things in cybersecurity, a proactive approach is best. By finding a service that conducts comprehensive anti-virus and malware protection, you can log in with the full confidence that your information is secure—and your risk of cyberattack minimal.