Published on August 24th, 2020
Antivirus Software is one of the most important bits of software that one should install on their computers. The reason being that infecting your computer is the easiest thing to do in the world.
However, fixing it afterward may take a lot of time, effort, money, and may not even be possible. Most of the time hackers target people that are not tech-savvy.
Who does not know how to keep themselves safe on the internet or can’t even differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate pop-up messages.
This is even more important in a corporate network where a lot of shared data that is stored on the server or on a local computer may include different types of private information about customers like their passwords, identification numbers, social security numbers, payment information, or just plain old incriminating data.
This becomes even more important when we look at national security agencies, financial institutions, etc.
A simple way to protect yourself or your business from keyloggers, ransomware, trojans, worms, and numerous other types of malicious software is to simply have a reputable antivirus.
However, as a disclaimer, it is worth noting that an antivirus cannot protect you and your information from all types of attacks.
This is why a lot of companies have adopted multilayer protection which consists of a strong firewall, premium antivirus protection, application security, user access control, as well as physical security of the premises.
Such ordeals are more prevalent in the institutions that are dealing with monetary transactions and keep payment information of their customers like online stores, casinos, etc.
The onslaught of ransomware in the last years has a lot of companies on the run investing a lot of money into cybersecurity. NHS all across the UK was hit with ransomware attacks in 2017 causing huge financial losses as well as inconvenience.
The fact that WannaCry made it into the hospital network means that it put a lot of vulnerable people in the hospitals under mortal risk.
Even more in 2019 three cities in Florida paid huge amounts of money in Bitcoins to release their systems from ransomware. Riviera Beach municipality paid $600,000 worth of bitcoin to digital attackers while Lake City clocked $460,000.
The way all of it happened is due to a human error where Emotet malware first infected a computer on the intranet, which subsequently downloaded Trickbot which then downloaded Ryuk ransomware.
This goes to show how easy it is to infect your whole network with malicious software. Due to these fears, lots of international companies started working on the development of cybersecurity layers.
Norwegian aluminum maker Norsk (Norwegian) Hydro has been facing cyber attacks for a while now with initial loss said to exceed $40 million.
Current statistics show that 67% of Norwegians are concerned about the increase in cyberattacks during the next 5 years. It is a clear sign to everyone doing business to start preparing for something that is yet to come.
Norwegian casino industry is shaken as a whole as well with a representative from PlayAmo stating that the casino is throwing huge amounts of funds into the protection of their services to ensure that no data breaches occur.
Not only are these attacks an inconvenience for the company but may also lead to lawsuits from dissatisfied customers, loss of reputation, and in the end the closure of operations as a whole.
This is reinforced by the fact that international companies like Honda could barely withstand the cyberattacks and had to shut down some of their factories for a bit of time.
Until now we have been focusing on the cases of ransomware, however, this is not the only reason why someone should have active antivirus software.
The malware that may target you can have a multitude of different purposes. The effects differ from a virus to a virus. Some can just slow down your computer to a crawl.
This may be software that is utilizing the resources for a different purpose like malicious viruses that mine cryptocurrencies utilizing host computers.
Others may just damage or delete your files as a whole by reformatting the hard drive. This will result in data loss and the inability to perform day-to-day operations.
The antivirus software will protect your computer from both viruses and their transmissions. This means that once malicious software makes its way onto your hardware the antivirus will immediately quarantine the file and restrict it from performing any operations at all.
This also means that the program won’t have the capacity to transfer itself to another computer or a piece of hardware.
An infected computer can potentially transfer the virus via sending out unsolicited emails with phishing links, text messages over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Telegram, or any other messaging application or social media you may use.
Apart from what we have already mentioned, antivirus software also offers real-time protection while browsing the internet. This means that all of the cookies or any other types of files that are downloaded from the internet are all scanned.
Also, most of the time the infection of the computer system happens if someone clicks a wrong popup link or opens a weird attachment of untrustworthy email. Antivirus software also helps during these cases to prevent an active infection.
As we have already discussed a lot of times hackers are utilizing their viruses to steal some type of information from the user. This may be anything from emails, passwords, usernames, phone numbers, etc.
This is what they utilize then to access accounts. A lot of companies started utilizing the 2-factor authentication (2FA) method of login.
This means that apart from the usual username and password the user is also prompted to confirm their identity via either clicking on a link they received on an email, writing a pin code they received through SMS or just use programs like Google Authenticator to get one-time pin codes on their smartphones.
There are numerous reasons to opt for the latter out of three. This is due to the fact that emails can be cracked open and the hacker can get access to a link even without your permission.
Hackers have a number of tools to intercept the message coming to your phone number. One of the easiest ones (and you will be surprised) is to collect information about the user and then call the phone number provider company identifying themselves as the real user and feeding the customer support operator with random information that they have already gathered like a name of your mother, birthplace, etc.
Another method of hacking a sim card is by Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) although it requires another social engineering endeavor the surprise is how many people allow hackers to install some software on their computers.
Antivirus software also protects the computer from unauthorized removable devices like USB thumbsticks.
These are usually the devices used to transfer viruses around the office just by playing on the curiosity of the employees or sometimes even eyeing out what type of USB drive someone is using and then just buying the same one and swapping it out while someone isn’t looking.
Antivirus scans every removable device that connects to the computer thereby preventing any viruses from actively infecting the system.
Overall, the installation of antivirus software is nothing but necessary in this day and age. The world is becoming more and more connected and people share different devices that are also interconnected with each other.
If my smartphone gets hacked the accounts may well trace back to my PC enabling it to be infected as well. However, not everyone needs a separate premium antivirus software.
Windows 10 comes with Microsoft’s personal windows defender as well as a firewall. MACs also have their own firewalls and user access controls to make sure that unsolicited applications do not take over.