An antivirus software is computer software that provides protection to users’ computers against infection by malicious programs.
What is Antivirus in Computer Systems, How Does It Work?
Antivirus emerged when the first computer viruses were detected and spread. Its development began in the early 1990s and has been a core element of computer security over the years.
It provides good protection against malicious programs, viruses, trojans, worms, and other types of attacks, and is also indispensable software for an Internet-connected computer.
When a computer is connected to a local or global network, the rate of malware infection increases. However, no antivirus software is completely secure and does not provide users with a complete protection solution. Because as technology advances, malicious programs are developed more and antivirus that are not developed can cause security vulnerabilities in operating systems.
For this reason, it is recommended to take all necessary precautions such as disabling the auto-run feature in the operating systems used, turning off system restores, checking and installing system updates, as well as always having an updated program.
Viruses are the biggest risk in corporate networks, so they can corrupt data, occupy and consume resources, and stop processes. Program files were one of the biggest problems in the past, but newer macro viruses could hide in data files.
Both server-based and client-based virus scanning software can be configured to protect corporate networks or home users.
Because a virus is hidden inside a program, the virus remains inactive until the infected program runs, but if the program is run, the virus kicks in. Some viruses help manage certain activities by being placed inside infected programs.
Always-updated antivirus can identify malicious programs on computers and help eliminate some threats to computer security from malicious programs. In addition, they can perform various functions such as anti-hacking, anti-spam, proactive defense, and much more.
What Does It Do?
Antivirus try to keep operating systems in top shape as a protection as well as protect computers from malware.
An antivirus analyzes a wide variety of types of information and separates this information into available categories. If the categorized files are infected by some malicious code, it tries to disinfect or eliminate them.
Analysis of the file occurs in many different ways depending on its category, or it can be achieved by monitoring the activity of removable devices, e-mails, or the local network.
After the analysis of a file, the blocking mechanism is run on the operating system depending on the threat type.
In this way, whenever information on hard disks is accessed, the antivirus protection reads or writes the disk, analyzes the information to be read or written, and blocks them if it finds threats.
As a result, the main purpose of antivirus is to detect, eliminate, or prevent virus infections on users’ computers.
How Does It Work?
Each malware has a signature code that identifies itself, so this software is easily detected by the program. Some antiviruses, on the other hand, are capable of detecting malicious software that is not in databases.
Detection is done by analyzing classic infection symptoms such as incorrect dates in files, programs resident in memory running in the background of the system, and abnormal system settings.
Anti-infection programs always remain in the computer’s memory and monitor some system functions, thus preventing potential threats to the system.
Identifier systems identify specific malicious programs that infect the system and work with the characteristics of a malicious program or explore the system by examining strings of certain codes or their characteristic patterns to identify them.
The main function of cleaner systems is to decontaminate an infected system and to remove malicious programs and return the system to its original state. However, they need to be very sensitive in detecting the malware they disinfect, because sensitive data can be deleted.
It includes the basic features of commonly used anti-malware programs such as:
They offer a user-friendly interface with a variety of actions and configuration options.
They have a protection mechanism based on permanent protection and malicious code search.
They have signature databases of malware.
They provide various information such as operation statistics, quarantine, storage of code information.
They have the ability to connect to a corporate server for remote management.
Commonly Used Antivirus Software
Kaspersky is owned by Kaspersky Lab, a Russian company with representatives and partners in multiple countries distributed around the world.
In addition to the security of files on the system, it is one of the most complete and well-secured antiviruses that guarantee the detection of intruders, firewalls, proactive defense, anti-spam, and other malware.
There are versions for workstations and servers for operating systems such as Windows and Linux. It also offers Administration Kit for corporate networks and includes versions developed for specific servers.
ESET Nod32 is an antivirus software developed by the Slovak-based company ESET. ESET products support Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, Novell, and macOS systems and also have versions for workstations, mobile devices, file servers, email servers, gateway servers, and a remote management console.
Norton offers one of the easy-to-use solutions to block viruses and hackers, protect important information, filter junk email, or protect your family from Internet threats. Symantec with tremendous experience is one of the oldest companies in the Internet and computer security.
AVG provides comprehensive virus protection services for personal computers, networks, file servers, and email servers. The combination of detection methods provides the highest level of data protection without consuming excessive system resources. It offers a long license period including all product updates and technical support, as well as a free license.
McAfee offers home users, small, medium, and large businesses, and companies simple and cost-effective security solutions to protect their Windows, Linux, and macOS environments. They protect the computers on the network from known and unknown viruses and buffer overflows.
With McAfee’s in-depth virus detection and intrusion prevention technology, it can detect and block malicious users and provide protection before they damage PCs.
As a world leader in virus and intrusion prevention, Panda Security provides higher level proactive security solutions for all types of users, from large companies to small and medium-sized businesses or home users.
How To Choose A Virus Protection Program For Your Computer?
Cost should not be considered first in order to choose a good antivirus protection. That’s why good software should get constant updates for virus databases and signatures.
The manufacturer of the software to be selected must have a staff specialized in malicious code and a technical support team with a response time not exceeding 48 hours to the customer.
Select software that uses a heuristic based on the behavior of a file and has different validation and analysis methods of potentially malicious code. Software with these features will stop computer threats and even possible new viruses.
It must be able to adapt to the needs of different users, allow the creation of emergency or rescue discs, should not affect the performance of the device used, and take up less space in RAM so that it can work in the background of the system.
The self-protection mechanism should be able to warn about a possible infection on the different access paths, Internet, email, network, and HDD. In addition, it should be able to control possible changes to the system startup and application registry.