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Antivirus software provides protection against malware, ransomware, phishing attacks as well as spam attacks, spyware and more. They also shield devices from identity theft, data breaches and online fraud. The top antivirus software suites offer additional security features like an VPN password manager, password manager, and parental controls. These suites are available on both desktop computers and mobile devices.

Most antivirus software uses signature-based detection. This method stores the database of code snippets that are known to be malware. When it scans the software, it searches for these signatures of malware. It warns users if they are detected. However, hackers are constantly developing new viruses, with variations that could evade traditional antivirus signatures. This type of malware is known as polymorphic and is designed to bypass signature-based detection methods. Some antivirus programs use cloud detection techniques to identify and stop new threats.

A solution that is based on behavior is a different option to look for. This is a more sophisticated technique that is able to monitor the device’s behavior and looks for patterns that could be suspicious. This is particularly effective when combined with signature- or heuristics-based detection. It can be used to detect new threats, like zero-day attacks.

Businesses can also opt for antivirus software that is scalable to meet their needs. Certain antivirus products are designed to operate as a complete security suite. They come with additional tools like firewalls as well as intrusion detection systems and multifactor authentication. Many business owners lack the technical knowledge required to install and manage these cybersecurity systems, and can turn to managed services providers for assistance.