Last Updated: January 19, 2023.
Antivirus software, also known as anti-malware software, works to prevent, detect, scan, and remove viruses on computers.
It helps protect against online cyber-attacks, spyware, computer worms, rootkits, keyloggers, botnets, and viruses. Antivirus software has developed a lot since its creation, but it essentially performs the same function as technology to protect you from malware infections.
Below we discuss everything from what antivirus software is to how it has advanced over the years and what the future of antivirus protection looks like.
What is antivirus software?
To understand how antiviruses have evolved since they were first invented, it’s a good idea to have some knowledge about what exactly an antivirus is.
Antivirus software functions to protect your computer and other devices from online cyber-attacks. With over 6 billion internet users worldwide, antivirus software is essential to keep people’s personal details and devices safe and secure.
There is a constant need for antivirus software to be adapted to match the new ways that cybercriminals alter viruses to try and penetrate the security of computers. BBN Technologies created the first ever computer virus all the way back in 1971.
This first virus was named the “Creeper.” It worked by reproducing itself and attacking the hard drive until it was no longer able to operate.
Nowadays, viruses are far more complex and are capable of launching more powerful attacks that can cause a lot of damage to computer devices after just one click.
The first antivirus software that was made available to the general public came from a number of sources, most notably the likes of Eugene Kaspersky, John McAfee, and others.
This software was made in the 1980s; however, it wasn’t until the 1990s that the products started to be used by people with computers. At this time, antivirus software was pretty simple and required signatures that were specified in order to recognize each individual virus.
This started to become a problem when the viruses that were created were becoming more complex, making it much harder for the antivirus software to detect and prevent their attacks.
This led to a need for more powerful antivirus software to be created in order to successfully block these more advanced cyber attacks.
The progression and advancement of antivirus protection
When it comes to creating antivirus technology, it’s important that the software is more advanced than the emerging viruses so that it can stop the attacks successfully.
This is where next-generation antivirus comes in, as a new type of antivirus software that is capable of recognizing the behaviors of a virus and blocking its attacks instead of just what the software can see.
The way in which next-generation antivirus software works is through the use of artificially intelligent algorithms, as well as technology that utilizes machine learning and cloud-based analytics.
One example of an antivirus technology that has been developed to protect against these more advanced viruses is endpoint detection and response (EDR).
Endpoint detection and response works through monitoring data in real-time and collecting it through an endpoint. In addition to this, EDR utilizes analysis skills as well as automated responses that function through set rules.
This form of antivirus technology uses a lot of the components that the original antivirus software used, but is far superior at identifying and blocking attacks.
Why advancement in technology security is vital
Advancement in antivirus technology is essential in order to keep up with the developing viruses that are constantly trying to find new ways to infect computers and steal important data.
Nowadays, people store a lot of personal information and sensitive data on their computer devices, from email log-ins to online banking.
The number of people using the internet for services such as online banking has increased significantly over the years. Around 73% of people around the world are thought to participate in online banking at some point in a month.
This can be everything from making bank transfers to just checking the balance of bank accounts.
In addition to this, around 59% of individuals have stated that they see online banking as a more secure option for more advanced processes.
This shows that many people rely strongly on their computer devices to carry out important transactions through online banking, and that there is a clear need for effective antivirus software to protect sensitive data from online cyber-attacks.