Antivirus vs. Anti-Malware: What's the Difference? GRIDINSOFT TEAM
Antiviruses and anti-malware have a lot in common. They both are globally classified as cybersecurity tools. Both of these types may have active and passive protection facilities. According to its technical definition, the difference hides in the system recovery abilities: an antivirus program can perform all sorts of recovery operations after virus attacks.
Viruses in their classic instance are malicious programs that can add their code into other executable files to replicate themselves. These actions make the system sluggish and lead to various failures in the programs. Moreover, viral code parts into legit applications are the easiest way to use exploits present in specific programs.
Anti-malware programs are able only to remove malicious programs and prevent their launching in the protected system. This type of security tool can have some sort of system recovery abilities, but they are likely to fix system configurations and registry entries. Anti-malware software is not able to remove malicious code from the programs infected by viruses.
How to choose between antivirus and anti-malware software?
The program with more abilities is better. However, you must pay for every element of the program and every hour spent by the developer. Spending the money only for things you need is one of the critical principles of saving. The full-size antivirus software is always more expensive than antimalware programs. It is essential to choose a program that does not have excessive functions to avoid overpaying.
If you do not use many programs and reinstallation will not take a lot of time, anti-malware software will be enough. This security tool class will help you recover the system after malware injection, but the third-party software recovery will be your business. This solution will likely be cheaper, even though this program may have the same protection features as antivirus tools.
If you have a lot of various software on your PC or don’t want to spend a lot of time reinstalling the programs, antiviruses are your choice. They are more expensive, but you will recover both system apps/settings and installed software.
How anti-malware (and antivirus) software work?
Almost all cybersecurity tools these days still use “classic” ways of malware detection. For malicious item detection during the scanning process, security programs use signature databases. They contain information about malicious programs’ code, packed in a specific way. Those pieces of information are like a “fingerprint”. Anti-malware software compares these fingerprints with ones from the programs and files placed on the scanned machine during the system scan. If the antivirus program finds a coincidence between the signature and a program, it marks it as a malicious item.
Various security tools can also offer you a heuristic engine for virus detection. This type of detection mechanism acts as a background scanner that checks all processes running on your PC. It does not rely on detection databases - heuristic engines study the behavior of a particular application. This technology is a basis for future antivirus and antimalware programs but still needs research and development. A lot of people hope for neural anti-malware networks as for further development of heuristic engines.
When the malicious item is detected, all activities related to it are blocked, together with the executable file. At the end of the scan, the user sees a list of detected threats. Well-designed anti-malware tools, like GridinSoft Anti-Malware, allows the users to choose what to do with each detected hazard.
The removal process is just the same as the usual deletion: an antivirus program takes all the virus files and deletes them completely, bypassing the bin stage.