Antivirus software like we are told is certainly the most important software on our computers (these days in mobiles as well). But what we missed is, to understand how antivirus software works.
Because of this, there are instances your computer gets infected even though you have antivirus software installed and active.
In this article, we explore what exactly the capabilities of antivirus software are and help you understand how antivirus software works.
But first lets’ get around why our computers actually get affected. From the reports of several virus attacks here’s what we found out.
Than any other illegal means, earning money from a malware infected computer is more easy and safe. In addition, if the owner of that target computer isn’t so good on securing his stuff, the bad guys’ work gets more simplified. But how do these cyber criminals do it is the million dollar question and this is probably how:
Software Vulnerabilities: There are these backdoors around every other software, which invite bugs. The complex the software gets the more vulnerabilities it holds.
Sheer Intelligence: Though they are on the wrong side we do have to accept this strength of theirs. It isn’t so easy to create a virus that can surpass the best-secured systems.
So, lets’ accept they are good with their stuff but there are ways in which we can pave them off from our money and lives. One way is by relying on good updated antivirus software and here’s why you should.
How Antivirus Software Works – Techniques
You’ll understand why we always recommend an updated antivirus by actually getting into how these antivirus software work. And lets’ begin.
Antivirus software is a computer program which is capable of identifying and eliminating any malware present in our computers. Here are all the methods it employs to achieve its purpose:
Signature Based Detection –The Dictionary Approach
With this methodology, the antivirus program scans all the files looking for matches to its virus dictionary (or) database.
This database contains the virus signatures, which is the binary code (a unique arrangement of 1s and 0s) of all known viruses. Hence if there is a match in any of the files this software flags it malicious.
Though mostly this is the method followed there is one basic loop hole with this. If at all there is some new virus which isn’t present in the database of the software, it is let go. This is the reason why we recommend updated AV software.
Detection Based On Behavior
This approach of malware detection is far better and acceptable. Here the AV software continuously monitors the behavior of programs.
Once it finds any program for say, trying to write into an executable file or anything abnormal for that matter, it flags it suspicious and notifies the user about it. This technique is further divided into two types:
Analogy-Based Detection (Setting up what is normal behavior and anything abnormal is flagged suspicious)
Specification-Based Detection (All the computer actions are mediated by a predetermined policy and nothing other than this is done).
An antivirus software works by performing one or more of these mentioned techniques; hence providing those extra layers of security to your computer.
Well for all those who argue antivirus software is for crap, I suggest being safe than sorry for their computers could be on the brink of with over 100 viruses and 500 new malware being released into the internet each single day.
Now that you understood how antivirus software works hope you stay more secure than ever. Express your views about the same in the comments section below.