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Antivirus (or antivirus software) is a type of program that’s meant to prevent malware infections, detect existing threats or attacks, and eradicate them from singular computing devices, networks, and even entire IT systems. It does so by analyzing websites, files, installed software or applications, and other user data to parse for known threats and monitor day-to-day program behavior.

Anti-virus programs typically feature multiple scanning engines to thwart incoming threats and malicious code from penetrating the computer’s operating system. They also use heuristic analysis, which looks for patterns in malicious code and programs to identify threats that haven’t yet been saved to a signature database.

As cybercriminals continue to get savvier and hackers develop more advanced threats, antivirus protection needs to evolve as well. Having more than just antivirus protection in place can ensure your clients’ cybersecurity needs are fully covered.

The first computer virus was created in the 1970s as a demonstration of how self-replicating programs could spread from one device to another. The program was named Creeper, and it replicated by identifying other connected computers on a network, copying itself to them, and then seeking out more devices to infect.

Nowadays, viruses can be more complex in their attack methods and in the way they spread, which is why it’s important for MSPs to understand how antivirus works so that they can provide their clients with complete protection against cyberattacks. By educating your clients on how antivirus protection protects their devices, data, and privacy, you’ll help them make better decisions that keep them safer online.