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Antivirus is a program or an umbrella of programs whose primary function is to scan for and help eradicate computer viruses and malware, which are malicious software that can steal information or access systems. It’s an essential part of your cybersecurity, as viruses are one of the main ways cybercriminals can get into your devices.

A virus is similar to a flu virus in that it’s designed to spread from one device to another, copying itself and spreading code and programs to destroy or infiltrate operating systems. The antivirus software can contain or eradicate the infection by removing the malicious file from your operating system, putting it in quarantine so it no longer works or deleting it to prevent any harm to your device.

Modern malware – an umbrella term that includes computer viruses and other infections – changes appearance quickly to avoid detection by older definition-based antivirus software. The latest security solutions use cloud analysis to spot new threats without relying on pre-existing lists of virus signatures, making them more effective against today’s threats.

Whether you’re an MSP or a consumer, having the best antivirus protection is essential. It’s important to know that antivirus alone doesn’t protect against all the different kinds of attacks out there, such as phishing scams that target your finances or unauthorized access that can damage your privacy. That’s why having a full set of cybersecurity tools is essential, including Unified Threat Management (UTM), hardware and network firewalls and more.