Antivirus (AV) software has generally been regarded by businesses as the best and simplest defense to keeping data and systems secure. That somehow, it is nearly unconquerable. In reality, while AV products are certainly a must-have in your security solutions suite, they do not provide 100% protection against threats.
Traditional signature-based antivirus software is fairly simple. It generally uses a database of virus signatures composed of previously identified viruses found in attacks. If signatures are detected within a user’s systems, they are blocked or quarantined, depending on the established rules. These lists are maintained by the security community, and whenever a new virus is discovered, the antivirus provider is informed, and a digital signature or hash of the virus is created and added to the database.
Time Lag: For signature-based AV, there may be a gap between when a new signature is first detected and when AV tool is updated and in production.
Threat Sophistication: With the adoption of the internet and cloud, the threat landscape and its attack surface has grown immensely. Threats have become increasingly sophisticated and complex. Hackers have evolved ways to get past antivirus programs. No matter how quickly AV evolves protection, hackers will always be able to test their payload against the latest AV, just by purchasing a single license.
Fileless Attacks: AV often works with other types of malware because it detects the traditional “footprints” of a signature. In contrast, fileless malware leaves no footprints for antivirus products to detect. Fileless malware is effective because it’s already hiding in your system, and doesn’t need malicious software or files to enter.
There are numerous ways that viruses and malware can get by antivirus solutions. For information on some of the more popular evasive tactics, download our full Threat Insight Report.