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Antivirus is a foundational tool for MSPs to use to protect their clients against malicious files and digital threat actors. But the way antivirus software works today is very different than how it worked in the past, and understanding this evolution is crucial for MSPs to keep their clients safe.

Antivirus programs start by scanning computer programs and files for malware. They do this by comparing them against a database of known threats, and using detection devices like specific, generic, and heuristic detection. Some advanced solutions also use a process called “sandboxing” which allows suspicious files to run in a virtual environment separate from the rest of the computer. If the file acts like malware, the antivirus program will flag it or quarantine it, removing the threat to the system.

It’s important for MSPs to consider whether the antivirus they’re offering has additional safety features, such as a VPN, identity theft protection, a password manager, and parental controls. These extra layers of security can provide an additional layer of defense against phishing attacks, ransomware, and other forms of malware that may not be caught by antivirus alone.

The best antivirus programs are able to keep up with constantly changing threats by regularly updating their virus databases. They should also offer reliable customer support, and be compatible with common business systems and applications. Most antivirus programs also offer free trial versions that allow you to test their performance and functionality before making a purchasing decision.