What’s the difference between antivirus and anti-malware?

Online security is a lucrative and ever-important industry. As experts in this field, we recommend Sophos unified threat management solutions in order to safeguard you and your business from external threats.

Whenever someone starts their search for online security, they always discover there are two major types of protection: antivirus and anti-malware. Which leads them to the inevitable question – What’s the difference between antivirus and anti-malware?

A virus is a piece of code that is capable of copying itself in order to do damage to your computer, including corrupting the operating system or deleting your data. In contrast, malware is a catchall phrase, representing a broad range of malicious software, including spyware, Trojans and other types of viruses. Essentially, all viruses are malware, but not all malware are viruses.

However, it a little more complex than that, because viruses are what’s known as “legacy threats.” That is to say, viruses have been around for a while and are still more or less the same. Because of this, cyber criminals really don’t use them all that much, hence why antivirus companies now deal with more than just simple viruses.

So I guess the question is, why are antivirus companies still called antivirus? Simply put, it all comes down to marketing. Consumers are much more familiar with computer viruses and what they are capable of doing as opposed to the harder to define “malware.”

While antivirus tends to deal with older, more established threats like Trojans, worms and other types of damaging codes, anti-malware, typically focuses on more recent trends like polymorphic malware and zero-day exploit delivered malware.

Antivirus is crucial in that it protects from the predictable-but-still dangerous malware, where anti-malware is far more comprehensive, looking at the latest, up-to-date threats. Constantly updating and learning the most recent trends in malware delivery, anti-malware is the best protection you can have against external threats.

Of course, there isn’t a golden bullet for this complex and ever-changing issue. However, Sophos unified threat management solutions are number one at protecting your business and data from viruses and malware. If you’re interested in finding out more, get in contact with us today!

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