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Antivirus solutions protect against ransomware, malware, and other threats. They also safeguard devices from identity theft, data breaches and online fraud. The best antivirus software suites have additional security features such as password managers, VPN and even parental controls. These suites are available for both desktop computers as well as mobile devices.

Most antivirus software uses a method called signature-based detection that stores a large database of distinct code snippets that represent known malware. During scanning, antivirus software looks for these signatures. It warns users when these signatures are discovered. However, hackers are constantly developing new viruses, with variations that can defy traditional antivirus signatures. This type of malware is called polymorphic and is designed to evade signature based detection techniques. To stop this, some antivirus programs employ cloud-based detection methods that use global intelligence to identify and block new threats.

A solution based on behavior is another option to look for. This is a more sophisticated approach that is able to monitor the device’s behavior and looks for suspicious patterns. This is especially efficient when it is combined with signature- or heuristics-based detection. It can also be used to identify zero-day attacks, which are threats that aren’t being catalogued yet.

Businesses can also select antivirus products that can be scaled according to their requirements. Some are designed to function as a complete security suite that includes tools such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and multifactor authentication. A lot of business owners don’t have the technical know-how to create and manage these cybersecurity systems, so they can turn to managed services providers for assistance.