Do We Actually Still Need Antivirus?

Hello, this is Garry, your fellow Internet Explorer.

Let me start by asking you a personal question: Do you still rely on antivirus software? Don’t worry if you don’t, as most experts would agree that regular individuals like you and I no longer necessarily need antiviral software. This is even more applicable to the approximately 71% of Internet-only users in the United States. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t use it. Antivirus software might not be as popular as it once was, but surprisingly, there are still over 45 million households that continue to pay for antiviral protection. This might be unexpected at first, but let me explain.

Many users still pay AOL ten dollars a month for America Online’s services, and that’s justifiable. People continue to use antivirus software, so there’s a bit of a stretch. Yes, it does function effectively, but that explanation doesn’t encompass the ways in which malware has evolved over time and the diverse methods it employs to infiltrate systems, especially within larger networks.

In essence, antivirus software alone is no longer sufficient in today’s digital landscape. This is the topic I want to delve into today – endpoint protection. Let’s chat about how antivirus software has transformed, how EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) works, and where it fits into the equation. So, take a seat, relax, and let’s unravel the intricacies.

This takes us back to the original computer virus, which was unlike the viruses today. It wasn’t crafted by a criminal group or a malicious foreign power. Instead, it was created by an individual named Bob. Yes, Bob, an American computer programmer and an inventor of the first computer virus.

This was during a time when Bob was working for a company that developed software for Arpanet, one of the earliest packet-switching networks. Arpanet, introduced in the 1960s, was a network of linked systems and was significant as it became the foundation of the global internet. Initially, there were only 28 members of Arpanet, with mainframe computers supervised by groups of engineers under contracts.

Bob developed a program demonstrating resource sharing capabilities, which he called “creeper.” The creeper virus was more of an experiment, as it displayed the ability to move from one system to another, akin to balancing traffic distribution on networks. But it wasn’t without risks, as the virus began to spread and replicate itself uncontrollably.

This is where Ray Tomlinson, often referred to as the father of email for introducing the “@” symbol, comes into play. He developed “reaper,” an anti-virus of sorts for the creeper virus. Reaper could identify copies of creeper and log them, effectively stopping its spread.

Fast forward to today, and despite antivirus software’s advancements, it still has flaws. AI and machine intelligence are powerful tools, yet they still make errors. AI’s shortcomings emphasize the necessity of network security options that can cover greater distances and respond proactively to modern threats.

This is where EDR enters the scene. EDR, or Endpoint Detection and Response, combines various security operations to enable security teams to identify trends and signs of compromise. Unlike standard antivirus software that marks files within its virus database, EDR works proactively, defending against emerging threats by diffusing potential threats in real time.

In addition to preventing the initial infection, EDR can stop breaches post-infection and mitigate real-time malware harm. Its cloud-based backend assembles evidence, providing a coordinated incident response. Moreover, EDR does this without causing a multitude of false alarms that could disrupt business operations.

If you’re curious to learn more, consider delving into NSC EDR training. And with that, my fellow Internet Explorers, stay secure out there. Keep practicing good security measures, regardless of the device you’re using. Thank you for sticking around till the end of this extended episode. I’m immensely grateful, and until next time, keep yourself and others safe while browsing online.