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How Does Intelligent Anti-Virus Protection Work?

Posted on May 10, 2011
Having the latest virus definitions isn't enough when a previously unidentified threat is trying to take over your computer. This is where intelligent antivirus protection comes in to identify suspicious behavior before your system is compromised.

The "Old Way" of Identifying Viruses

Intelligent antivirus protection and software behavior monitoring is an important aspect of computer security. Most antivirus and anti-malware programs regularly update themselves using databases called "definitions" that contain information on how to identify various threats to your PC. While this is great for detecting identified and recognizable viruses and malware, it doesn’t help against new threats. Combine that with the fact that the criminals creating these viruses have access to the same security software as everyone else, and you’ll recognize the importance of intelligent protection combined with definition updates.

When a virus scanner relies on definitions to prevent viruses, it uses a collection of data based on previously identified viruses. This would be like a police officer keeping photos of wanted suspects in their vehicle and actively looking for those people. The problem is that they might pass up another criminal who has not yet been identified. If they are only looking for specific threats, others ones may slip past them.

What About New Threats?

When it comes to virus scanning, new threats are identified daily. This is why your virus definitions are updated so frequently. The problem is that not everyone has the latest definitions. Perhaps you haven’t downloaded them yet or maybe your update subscription has run out. Either way, your system will not be as protected as it should be. This is why it is so incredibly important to not only have good security software on your computer, but to keep it updated. Not having the most up-to-date security software on your computer will leave you vulnerable every time you go online.

How Intelligent Anti-Virus Software Works

The way intelligent software behavior monitoring works is that it looks for suspicious actions performed by the various programs on your computer. For example, if something is trying to set itself up to load every time Windows starts, then you should be made aware of this because you may not wish it to do so. Another prime example is when a program tries to disable your antivirus software, as this almost guarantees that your PC is under attack from some malicious software. Intelligent antivirus protection looks at the way certain programs try to modify your core system settings and warns the user before those programs are allowed to do so.

Trend Micro has implemented what they call the Titanium Advantage, which uses cloud computing to analyze threats in real-time in order to better protect their customers. BitDefender is doing the same thing with their Total Security 2011 package. Security companies are turning their user base into a global support group all working together to identify and remove threats as soon as they appear anywhere online.

Keep Yourself Safe From New Malicious Threats

With new threats popping up online at an alarming rate, it is important to have strong security software installed on your machine before you go online. Keeping that software updated with the latest virus definitions is important, but having security software that employs solid techniques for identifying threatening behavior is even better. This will surely help to keep your computer, as well as your identity and financial information, safe from thieves and con artists online.


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