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Antivirus software is a baseline tool that MSPs use to defend their customers against malicious files and digital threat actors. As antivirus software becomes increasingly sophisticated, though, understanding how it weaves into your overall cybersecurity strategy is vital.

A common way that antivirus programs work is by scanning all the data that comes into or goes out of your devices for known cyberthreats. That includes everything from web pages and files to software applications and more. If anything looks suspicious, these programs can quarantine or delete them.

Signature-based detection is another common technique that antivirus programs use. This means that the program compares the code of every file on a device to a database of known malware signatures and flags anything that matches. This method needs to be constantly updated, however, as hackers tinker with their creations and release polymorphic strains that quickly change their code to avoid detection.

Most modern AV programs also incorporate behavioral detection into their capabilities. This means that they will scan directories, files or the entire system/device for any signs of malware activity and then alert the user if any of these activities are occurring. Many of these programs will then clean the infected files or applications once a user initiates a removal process.

Most AV programs also provide a variety of other protections, including the ability to monitor the dark web to see if anyone is trying to sell your personal information. This is important because the greatest threats to your security don’t involve viruses anymore – they’re things like identity theft and attacks on your accounts.