A well-designed antivirus program can protect against malware infections and eliminate threats that are currently in place or attacks on computers, networks or entire IT systems. The software scans websites, files, installed software and user data to search for malware types that are known to exist They also track day-to-day program behavior to identify possible threats and notify the user.
Most antivirus products offer a variety of scanning options which include scheduled, on-access and quick scans. On-access scans seek out malware in directories for the operating system, common file areas, and other common locations on startup. Scheduled scans allow you to create an everyday schedule, a weekly one or a monthly one to run a full system scan at a specified time. Quick scans usually last a few moments and look at commonly used areas on your computer, such as temporary files or the operating system directory.
Some programs use heuristics in order to search for malware, looking for similar patterns and tendencies. This is a more sophisticated type of virus detection than signature-based detection, and it is able to identify malware that other programs do not detect. These advanced forms of antivirus detection may not work as well for small businesses, as they are often prone to false positives–identifying secure parts of files and programs as potentially harmful.
As the world of business is becoming more interconnected, hackers are targeting businesses with more frequency to score caches of customer information or to make an image for themselves through hacktivism (disrupting professional systems due to social or political reasons). All businesses should have antivirus protection in place to shield them from cyberattacks.