Understand the difference between Anti-virus and Anti-Malware: Which one is for you? – London Business News

The digital world isn’t all nice and wholesome as it seems. With each click, we get close to online demons that often come in disguise.

Just like our bodies, computer, smartphones, and all digital machines connected to the internet may often suffer from attacks of digital pathogens. Believe me; the pre-internet era was the safest one. Whatever! You have to move on.

At first, the malware was called Viruses (phishing, keyloggers, etc.), simple errors and creepers in the code that are detectable if you know where to look.

With time, they evolved (probably faster than actual viruses of our world), they got complicated, and they mutated into so many types, namely viruses, trojans, Spyware, ransomware, and so on, all of which are several hundred times more dangerous than the original viruses that came first.

A report says, In 2021, a total of 67 Ransomware attacks happened to almost 954 schools and colleges in the US, causing damage worth $3.54 Billion.

Each of these is different in its invasion style and capability to wreak havoc.

If there’s a disease, there should be medicine too.

In this case, that is a smart software called anti-malware that detects threats and resolves imminent danger.

What is this Anti-malware? I use AntiVirus software!

That is the question that just came up in your mind. Right? Yeah, we encounter this every day.

In those early days of software, programmers used to code anti-software that stopped virus codes from running themselves. Usually, a single software named Antivirus worked for all viruses because all viruses back then worked on the same mechanism.

But with time, as the threats advanced, Cybersecurity companies kept the original name (probably because it’s popular, eh?) but adapted changes to fight the new troubles. So technically, this new generation’s broad range of software is named Anti-malware. However, if you look closely, your Antivirus also contains anti-malware components.

Wait! I’m confused. First, resolve this virus vs. malware debate.

Viruses are self-replicating pieces of code that need to be triggered, aka clicked by the user themselves. Only then it starts copying itself at light speed and crashes the system due to data overload.

Malware includes viruses, all types of malicious software, and dangerous codes used to damage systems and steal data.

The moral of the story is, “All viruses are malware, but not all malware is viruses.”

antivirus vs. Antimalware: Who wins?

  • Antivirus software acts upon a pattern detection mechanism of recognizing a known pattern of code that is already present as a sample in its database.
  • Just like a prescribed drug for a disease manifested in the patient. They can remove classic viruses like keyloggers and some modern ones as well.
  • On the other hand, Anti-malware is a sophisticated Malware removal tool prime torch bearers of network security.
  • This broad aspect of advanced software uses heuristic-based mechanisms to detect all known malicious software causing damage and proactively finds probable dangerous software or unknown suspicious codes hidden in the machine that may damage the system.

Sounds like vaccines, don’t they?

A good Antivirus includes:

  1. Real-time scanning for immediately detecting viruses as they enter the system
  2. Remove threats, not block
  3. Auto update to keep the database up-to-date with all known patterns and attacking viruses

Most manufacturers use the old term Antivirus in marketing both antivirus and Anti-malware.

Here’s your guide to the best Antivirus software 2022.

A great Anti-malware means:

  1. An intrinsic but isolated space for the algorithm to check if suspicious software is safe to use or not. This is different from real-time scanning as it doesn’t just discover risks but also assesses them.
  2. Proactive security to detect Spyware, ransomware, Trojan, and adware in advance using behavior-based detection (checking how it behaves, not how it looks!)
  3. Monitoring your online traffic also involves blocking all risky sites infamous for spreading malware.

Cool! Tell me, do I need both?

The short answer is yes, absolutely you do.

We have a slightly detailed note:

  • Antivirus catches most of the known regular miscreants, and Anti-malware discovers normal-looking files that may behave suspiciously.
  • Cybersecurity experts always recommend a layered approach and multiple filters as it ensures not a single malware will be left unnoticed.
  • Antivirus gives you basic protection; anti-malware provides all-round Cybersecurity.
  • Antivirus and Anti-malware complement each other and work best together.

Even being fully equipped with all Cybersecurity solutions available in the market doesn’t promise 100% safety, but at least you stay least susceptible. At least you’ve tried.

Get geared up; better late than ever.

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