3 reasons why anti-virus isn’t enough
This is supported by a recent study by the Ponemon Institute on the state of endpoint security risk where they found that only 27% of respondents thought that traditional anti-virus solutions were sufficient for new and unknown threats.
The reality is, with our increased reliance on being connected to the web, combined with the rapid expansion of malware, it’s becoming harder and harder to prevent our devices from getting infected. That means if you’re relying on anti-virus software alone to secure your PC and personal information you don’t have enough protection against the growing number of threats.
Here’s three reasons why anti-virus protection isn’t enough:
1. There are too many threats to defend against.
It’s true, typical anti-virus software (also referred to as anti-malware software) is effective against the majority of known threats. But, there are also unknown threats to worry about.
The AV-Test Institute detects at least 350K new malware variants daily which account for approximately 77.7% of all new threats - the remaining they say is known malware. With such a high percentage of unknown malware variants daily it’s simply unrealistic for an anti-virus to be able to protect devices from them all.
First, anti-malware engineers need to figure out how a particular virus works before they can instruct their software on how to detect and eliminate an identified attack. This could take anywhere between an hour and a month. So that means, a new virus will usually be able to infect a number of organizations before the anti-virus protection is expertly tailored by security vendors to stop it.
Malware and virus authors are aware of this. The reason they regularly write and release new threats is that they know that every virus has a limited lifespan before getting caught. Early on, anti-virus vendors managed to keep up with the development of new cybersecurity threats but over the past few years, the explosion of new malware has made this virtually impossible.
2. Many successful attacks remain hidden from sight.
A study by Bromium found that 4 out of the 5 websites that host ‘crypto mining’ tools are social media sites. Cybercriminals use tactics like malicious applications, ads, plugins and links on these sites to trick users into unknowingly downloading the crypto-mining software on their devices.
Other kinds of attacks that can remain invisible to users include spamming from social media profiles and access to personal cloud services. Spamming attacks spread spam and malicious website links to your contacts who may, or may not, inform you that you have been hacked. As people and businesses start to use cloud computing as an essential tool, the number of Data-stealing malware attacks is also on the rise. Many people don’t realise that traditional anti-virus solutions cannot protect your Data on cloud services so you are left to rely on the cloud providers to safeguard your Data.
3. You can be attacked without actually doing anything.
Yes, something as seemingly harmless as a web page can be a way for malware to get into your system simply by visiting them. These typically come from clicking malicious ads, otherwise known as malvertising attacks, that land you on a page that could download a file or execute a web script that compromises your system. Malvertising attacks come in a wide-variety, can use legitimate but compromised websites, and may use misleading prompts to trick you into agreeing or simply acting without you knowing how to execute.
These ‘drive-by downloads’ are hazardous as PCs get infected just by visiting a good website at the wrong moment. Malware authors get away with this by exploiting online advertising networks and inserting their malicious ads in between legitimate ones. While ad networks are trying to crack down on these practices, the scary truth is it’s simply impossible for them to prevent them without sacrificing their own revenue.
This is where SecureAge technology offers some better alternatives:
With that base covered, there are three modern-day approaches we recommend:
1. Sandboxing or software virtualisation solutions
This approach essentially isolates potentially dangerous files. The classification of the danger, however, varies from vendor to vendor. The important part is that if a file happens to be a threat, then the extent of the damage will be limited to the virtualized environment - the so-called sandbox. Some of the more popular vendors are Sandboxie Plus and Cuckoo Sandbox.
2. Internet security solutions
A common trend, however, is that internet security is designed in a way that monitors browser activity to prevent it from being exploited by malicious sites and ads. This can either be part of your anti-virus suite, as a standalone custom secure browser, or it could work as a plugin for your favourite browser. Some of the more popular vendors are Avira Browser Safety and Avast Online Security.
3. Intuitive application control
By creating and maintaining a list of applications or files that you trust to run, and preventing everything else from running behind your back, an application control can guard you against any potential threat including fresh malware – it’s precisely because it’s fresh that it won’t be allowed to run.
The bottom line
It’s important to make sure that your PC security solutions can work with each other, much like how CatchPulse works with any security solution in the market. Visit CatchPulse Pro to learn more.