In order to deliver adequate computer protection, antivirus software should be capable of:
- Detecting a very wide range of existing malicious programs — ideally, all existing malware
- Detecting new modifications of known computer viruses, worms and Trojan viruses
- Detecting malicious software that’s located in packaged files — i.e. executable files that have been modified by archive utilities — and then scanning the content of the archives and installation packages
Not all antivirus products offer the same level of computer protection
Because various antivirus products have been on the market for many years, some users may fall into the trap of thinking that there is little to choose between the various products — and that they all have similar malware detection capabilities. These users may decide to base their choice of antivirus product on relatively unimportant criteria — such as whether it has an attractive design or it has featured in some eye-catching advertisements.
While it’s true that various antivirus programs have been available for a long period, the number and diversity of the threats — that computers and other devices are subject to — have changed massively in recent years. Effective computer protection depends on the antivirus vendor’s ability to adapt to new demands. When judged on their technical performance in detecting and protecting against malware, different antivirus products may differ greatly.
Ongoing investment and dedication
Antivirus vendors must continually invest in research — so that they can protect their customers against increasingly sophisticated cybercrime attacks and provide a rapid response whenever new malware is released. Without the vendor’s dedication to fighting the continued war against highly professional cybercriminals, you could be putting the following at risk:
- Your computer
- Your data
- Your digital identity
- Your finances
Some antivirus products are losing the ‘arms race’
If one vendor’s antivirus product only detects 50% of all viruses that are active on the Internet, while another detects 90% and a third product detects 99.9% — it’s easy to work out which is going to offer you the best computer protection.
In reality, few antivirus products or services provide a protection level that is anywhere near 100%. In fact, the majority of products fail to achieve a 90% security level.
Some antivirus vendors do not appear to be able to keep up with new malware developments. These vendors are effectively losing the malicious software ‘arms race’ — so their customers are not completely protected against all of today’s cyber threats.