When selecting an antivirus program for your business or home it is important to look at more than just the detection rate in controlled tests. You should also make sure that it is able to detect the latest viruses and malware. The virus writers work hard to devise methods of defeating antivirus programs. They create viruses that disable them, hide them from detection methods, and even get around antivirus software.
One of the earliest types of antivirus programs was to compare files received by devices to their database of malware that they have identified. This is a kind of signature detection and is quite effective for older malware, however the issue is that virus creators could create new signatures for different types of viruses these details at any moment so the antivirus protection would always be playing catch-up.
More modern antivirus programs employ heuristic detection to find potential threats. Instead of looking for exact matches, heuristics look at patterns in software and files to determine whether they are similar to known malware. This technique is augmented by behavior-based detection, which analyzes the way in which a program or program behaves in order to determine if it’s infected.
Certain viruses attempt to stop antivirus software by hiding, preventing access to the antivirus program’s updating system or causing corruption to code or library files needed by the virus scanner to work. More sophisticated viruses can target the antivirus software by directly altering or removing elements of it. These types of viruses are becoming more widespread and typically include features like the worm component, which spreads from computer to computer.