Is Antivirus Your Only Protection? What you need to stay safe in 2020

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Written by Amy Cavendish on behalf of TechFools.

Traditional antivirus software, while still useful to an extent, is struggling to keep pace with the scope of modern malware.

Its signature detection strategy is based on the assumption that new malware will look and act the same as old malware.

But the advent of for-hire and for-profit malware programs, which began in the early 2000s, quickly saw a spate of new malicious codes hit the internet that had the ability to change their appearance and avoid detection.

The Trojans and worms of old have given way to a group of dynamic threats that essentially shape shift and have a greater potential to discover and capitalise on vulnerabilities.

Furthermore, these threats are being masterminded and managed by criminal enterprises, for whom malware is a product like any other, and keeping clients happy is a matter of producing the best/worst programs possible.

You shouldn’t throw your antivirus subscription away just yet, after all, it can still detect and quarantine known threats, but to fully secure your devices in 2020, a multi-layered approach to security is not only warranted but necessary.

Here are several security tools businesses and individual users alike should use in conjunction with traditional antivirus programs.


In many ways, antivirus and antimalware software are the same thing, they both work to detect threats and keep devices safe. The key difference is that antimalware is better geared to cope with newer threats because it uses a heuristics-based approach to detection as opposed to antivirus’ signature detection method.

This method allows antimalware programs to detect malicious code in files and boot records before it has a chance to run on your device. It is a more proactive approach to threat detection.


Whenever your device is connected to a network, it is susceptible to threats. Firewalls stop outside attackers from accessing your device. Most operating systems (OSs) have in-built firewall protection in place. But all too often we don’t consider our firewalls, instead just assuming they’re working well and our devices are secure.

Businesses should look into enterprise-level firewall protection that goes above and beyond the firewall built into the company’s devices.

Virtual Private Network (VPN) encryption

Internet of Things (IoT) attacks are on the rise. With many more devices connected to a network, be it at home or in the office, there are far more potential access points and vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.

One way to skirt the risk of an IoT based attack is to protect the entire network with a VPN router. Virtual Private Networks are also useful on individual devices because what VPNs do is encrypt any data in transmission and shield internet activity from prying eyes, which is particularly useful if you need to connect to an open wifi network.

Email scanner

Phishing is a consistent and persistent threat that hackers use frequently, and email is the primary attack vector. Email scanners work by trawling through incoming emails to detect any unwanted links or malicious code.

In the workplace, email scanners can be put to good use making sure there is less chance of an employee accidentally engaging with a phishing attempt.

With the four tools detailed above working in conjunction with your traditional antivirus program, you’re in good stead to keep both your data and your devices protected in 2020.

[Image – Photo by Andras Vas on Unsplash]



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