Over the years malware and viruses have evolved.  Long passed are the days of simplistic malware or spyware that would shoot up pop-up adds on your desktop, or fill your web browser with unsightly images to try and sell you a special pill.  Hackers and cyber-criminals have gotten much more sophisticated in this day and age.

The viruses and malware that spread to users computers now try to lay and wait for the opportune time to strike.  Spreading ransomware to unsuspecting users, and waiting to extort every bit of data from a victim is the new way hackers are trying to extort money from their victims.  Often these forms of malware go undetected by standard anti-virus programs, since the malware on the computer could be embedded as a standard executable that lays dormant until the hacker on the other end decides to pull the trigger.

These types of malware have gone beyond simple scripts as well, and now play a role in big-business.  Fully fledged companies have formed that offer ransomware services like SaaS (Software as a Service), offering would-be cybercriminals different packages of tools, support information on using them, and they can even pay for premium support from the developers as of the tools as well.  These new threats require a more sophisticated approach to securing your workstations and other technology.

Can Anti-Virus Programs Stand Up to Today’s Threats

In short, yes it is still recommended that you have some basic level of protection available and running on your workstations.  AntiVirus-Test institute registers over 350,000 new pieces of malware and potentially unwanted applications (PUA) every day.  Some devices need anti-virus protections more so than others, and it all depends on the level of software your running on that system, and how many other systems it touches.

Some operating systems are more susceptible to malware than others, with Windows being the most targeted operating system of all.  87% of ransomware targeted Windows based computers as of January 2021, according to managed services providers.

  • Windows – 87%
  • Windows Tablet – 11%
  • macOS X – 7%
  • Android – 5%
  • iOS – 3%

How Anti-Virus Software Protects Your Device

Anti-Virus software scans the device that it’s installed on periodically, or via a schedule initiated by the user.  The software scans for known viruses, malware, and other cyber-threats by checking for these known threats in a database that is kept up to date by the software manufacturer.  Most malware databases are updated everyday, sometimes multiple times per day since new malware is being developed all the time.  As mentioned above, there are over 350,000 pieces of new malware discovered every day.

However the problem with traditional anti-malware based software is that the data base updates can often go without being updated for several days at a time.  Sometimes the user may pause the updates, or sophisticated forms of malware and ransomware can get around detection by obfuscating themselves from the database.  Other time malware developers can take advantage of a previously unknown exploit in otherwise legit software to hide and deploy malware to unsuspecting victims as well.  This is known as a 0-day exploit, and have led to some of the largest thefts of data known.

That is why protecting against malware and ransomware in 2022 has gone beyond just a single point of defense like a traditional anti-virus program.  Today’s SoHo and Medium sized offices work hand-and-hand with their Managed IT Services providers to guarantee full-protection from software, hardware, and network layer based services.

SentinelOne is a new key anti-virus platform which acts autonomously instead of relying on antivirus signatures that are stored in a database.  SentinelOne uses a combination of static machine learning analysis and dynamic behavioral analysis to protect systems.  All files are evaluated in real-time before they execute and as they execute.

We also work to ensure network level security is achieved through robust security firewalls, offering 24-hour network monitoring, content filtering services, denial of service protection, and much more.

When you work with a Managed Services Provider like Natural Networks, you’re office network and workstations maintain the highest levels of security and backups.  If you want to learn more about how we can help protect your data, give us a call today!