Why Antivirus Is Not Enough in The Face of Evolving Cyber Security Threats 2020


Antivirus software is designed to detect, stop, and treat viruses, worms, and other malicious software that may be used to infect your PC. The problem is that antivirus software will only protect you from known threats.

In other words, anti malware will not be able to protect you without a signature database for detection. The malware ecosystem has been changing drastically in the past decade or so, which means that your approach to protecting valuable data should be evolving as well.

Sophisticated Cyber Attacks are on the rise. As that happens, confidence in traditional detection-based protection such as antivirus continues to decline rapidly. These anti-malware solutions are largely reactive and lean towards removing threats that have already infected the system instead of preventing them.

Research has shown that traditional anti-malware solutions will only stop a threat about 50 percent of the time when it first appears. This is simply not enough.

Too Many Threats

Why Antivirus Alone Is Not Enough in The Face of Evolving Cyber Security Threats
Cyber Security

Antivirus will protect you from common threats such as known viruses, but with sophisticated attacks on the rise, businesses and individuals need a multi-layered approach to cyber security.

With antivirus, developers first need to figure out how a recently identified threat works before they can instruct the anti malware to detect and eliminate the attack. Using only antivirus software alone to secure your systems is, therefore, no longer safe enough.

Here are 5 Major Cyber Risks Facing The Public In 2020.

  • Phishing. Phishing is a varied term for a range of social engineering attacks where attackers generate fraudulent emails, texts, or websites to trick a victim into surrendering sensitive information. Phishing attacks target information such as credit card details, passwords, and login credentials. Phishing is one of the most common cyber security threats facing the public in 2020.

 

  • Ransomware. A ransomware attack involves a hacker infecting the target’s computer system with a piece of malicious code that encrypts all their data. Forbes predicts a 300% increase in RYUK-related ransomware attacks (a specific type of ransomware) in 2020, most of which will be targeting small businesses in the United States and other parts of the world.

 

  • IoT Attacks. IoT attacks leverage a victim’s use of smart devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking over. IoT has led to an increase in the number of connected devices. However, some of these devices don’t have strong security built-in. This creates an opening for cyber criminals to hijack these devices and use them to infiltrate our home and business networks.

 

  • DDoS Attacks. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks are directed at your network resources and overwhelm them to a point where they cannot process legitimate traffic. DDoS attacks can paralyze business operations and for that reason, remain a significant cyber threat for organizations of all sizes. There are many types of DDoS attacks depending on the methodology used.

 

  • AI-Enhanced Cyber threats. An increasing number of cyber criminals use AI to scale their attacks in 2020. Attackers are now able to create programs that mimic known human behaviour using artificial intelligence. Integrating AI and machine learning into malware programs will make it easier for hackers to bypass and infiltrate targeted systems.

Protection Measures

Digital threats become increasingly complex nowadays, we are not only dealing with less sophisticated versions of malware like Trojan horses or worms like a decade ago.

The expansion of malware and the amount of damage it can cause means that we have to do more to ensure that we are protected against new and upcoming cyber security threats.

Here are 5 effective security tools to protect yourself from the aforementioned risks.

VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) helps you create a private network from a public internet connection giving you online privacy and anonymity on the worldwide web. This piece of software can mask your internet protocol (IP) address so your online actions are virtually untraceable.

Both individuals and businesses can use VPN to keep data safe and secure online. Download a VPN app for your devices to establish secure and encrypted connections wherever you are. You can also read Top 5 best antivirus for PC and Mobile devices.

Vulnerability Scanner

A vulnerability assessment is a universal imperative when it comes to dealing with cyber security threats and mitigating risks. This process will help you define, identify, classify, and prioritize vulnerabilities that are specific to your network infrastructure, digital assets, and computer systems.

A vulnerability scanner is a cyber security tool that can help you identify possible attacks and vulnerable systems on your network.

Email Security

Did you know that 1 in every 99 emails is a phishing attack? Phishing emails hackers can easily install any kind of malware on your system without you even realizing it when you click on an attachment or link.

Phishing attacks can cause massive damage to your firm’s reputation, not to mention the financial implication of a cyber attack. Using email security tools such as a spam filter can help you with phishing, ransomware, and other attacks that are transmitted through email.

Employee Training

Phishing attacks have become very common in recent years, targeting both individuals and businesses. The 2019 data breach investigations report by Verizon shows that 33% of breaches are due to social engineering.

Untrained employees can be the most significant vulnerability to a business’s cyber security. Business leaders must ensure that their employees have access to helpful tools and resources as well as training to identify phishing emails, websites, and text messages.

Customized Online Security

As stated earlier in the article, general antivirus is a reactive measure. This cyber security precaution focuses on removing threats that are already in the system.

This is not enough. Businesses should strive to come up with a proactive cyber security strategy that can detect and remediate potential threats by actively monitoring and updating defences. Such a security solution should be customized to fit your business’s unique infrastructure and budget.

The malware ecosystem is constantly evolving. Depending on any one method alone against the overwhelming number of threats is utterly reckless. But does that mean that you should stop using antivirus entirely? No, not at all. Antivirus is still the basic security mechanism that every system should have.

We need to come up with an ideal solution that combines multiple layers of security if we are to effectively defend against newer, more advanced PC threats out there.


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