With the current situation in Russia and Ukraine, and the number of cyber-attacks rising as a result, it has never been more important for organisations to protect themselves against the growing cyber threat. Having good cyber hygiene can make all the difference, and one of the most important things you can do is ensure you have good protection using some antivirus software.

The Importance of Antivirus and Virus Protection

Antivirus software is software that is installed on a computer system to protect it from spyware, malware, Trojans, viruses phishing attacks, rootkits, and spam attacks, as well as any other cyber threats.

We all likely use computers daily, which is why it’s paramount that they have sufficient virus protection. Computer viruses are more sophisticated and harmful than ever; a virus could damage a computer to the point where it can no longer be used. To protect your computer systems, you need antivirus software.

What is a Virus?

A computer virus follows a similar process to that of the flu virus, in that it is designed to spread from host to host and can replicate itself. But from a more technical standpoint, computer viruses are a type of malicious code or programme that alter the way a computer operates and is designed to spread between computers by inserting its own code into computer programmes.

A virus has different kinds of functions, from making a computer run slowly to damaging parts of the system, stealing personal details, or sending out unauthorised messages. Computer viruses are said to cause billions worth of economic damage each year due to causing system failures, corrupting data, stealing data, and increasing maintenance costs.

Where Do Viruses Come From?

Viruses are written by highly skilled programmers to damage people’s computers, steal information or even cash. They work to exploit security vulnerabilities to infect computer systems and spread their virus.

The reason for the viruses can vary. For some, it may not be for malicious purposes, and they simply want the “bragging rights” that come with creating and spreading a virus, and it may do no more damage than creating annoying pop-ups. However, some do it to gain access to data, such as credit card information, passwords, or personal identity information. Viruses can even be used to gain remote control of a computer, or even damage computer systems, which may be utilised by competing business entities to destroy the competition.

How Does Antivirus Work?

Antivirus software is designed to detect, prevent and take action against malicious software in your computer, including viruses. Even if you’re smart with how you use your computer to avoid coming into contact with a virus, antivirus software is an essential part of a good security strategy.

Antivirus software runs in the background and checks every file you open and compares it to known viruses and other types of malware; this is to help you prevent your machine from becoming infected. The software also runs system scans to ensure that no viruses are lying dormant on your computer. If your antivirus software comes across a signature for a virus or other malware, it will stop that file from running and put it into quarantine, where it will either delete it automatically or you can choose to run it if you’re confident it is a false detection.

Why is Antivirus Important?

Antivirus protection is essential for any business wanting to protect their data and computer systems from becoming corrupted. Antivirus software is the security person at the gate preventing unwanted persons from entering. Prevention is much more effective than cure, so it’s better to have a system in place designed to detect and prevent virus attacks than having to spend time and money repairing infected machines.

Is an Antivirus Solution Expensive?

In a word, no! While there are many paid-for anti-virus tools on the market, Avira have created one that is totally free to use that protects you from malware. You can of course upgrade to their Pro version for even deeper protection and coverage, but Avira Free Antivirus does a great job of picking up all kinds of malicious threats.

Final Thoughts

It may seem daunting when faced with lots of different solutions for antivirus software, but I highly recommend Avira Free Antivirus as a starting point, and to upgrade to their Pro version if you can extend to that for even deeper protection. With so many and new cyber threats emerging every day, it is critical that you protect your systems as much as you can.