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Antivirus prevents, detects and removes known viruses and malware like worms, trojan horses and adware. It also blocks phishing attacks that try to trick users into clicking on unsafe links and installing malicious software.

Businesses face a wide range of cyberattacks that can steal or corrupt information, access bank accounts and more. These threats are not only costly for the business itself but can also expose consumer data and lead to identity theft. In order to keep both customers and business information safe, a strong antivirus system is crucial.

How does it work?

The primary function of most antivirus (AV) programs is to scan directories, files and entire systems or devices for malware activity. This can be done either on a regular basis or as needed to spot and neutralize active threats before they cause too much damage.

Generally speaking, the most effective antivirus programs will use both signature-based and behavior-based detection methods. The former compares byte patterns to known malware signatures in a database; the latter watches for behaviors that may be indicative of infection and flags suspicious programs or files for further inspection.

Many modern AV products also incorporate heuristic analysis into their design, allowing them to catch as-of-yet unknown, or “mutated,” strains of malware in the wild. While heuristic analysis is not as comprehensive as signature-based detection, it does help to ensure that a business will always have the best defense against current and emerging cyberattacks.