A good antivirus program prevents malware infections and eliminates existing threats, or attacks on specific computer systems, networks, or entire IT systems. The programs scan files, websites, installed software and user information for known malware types. They also monitor program behavior to identify possible threats.
The majority of antivirus protections provide a variety of scanning methods including scheduled, quick and on-access scans. On-access scans look for malware in directories of the operating system, common file areas, and other common places upon starting. Scheduled scans let you set up a daily weekly or monthly schedule to run a comprehensive system scan at a specified time. The scans are typically few minutes long and examine the most frequently used areas on your computer, such as temporary files and the operating system directory, and memory.
Certain programs use heuristic detection to detect malware by looking for similar tendencies or patterns. This is a more sophisticated form of virus detection when compared to signature-based detection and may catch malware other programs miss. 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 business world is becoming more interconnected, hackers are targeting companies more frequently to score caches of consumer data or to make their name through hacktivism (disrupting professional systems for social or political reasons). All businesses should have antivirus protection in place to shield them from cyberattacks.