WiFi Security

What is the difference between anti-virus and anti-ransomware?

Viruses and Ransomware are both damaging to a business but what is the difference between the two? Our

Businesses are lacking knowledge in the IT sector so we are here to answer the most frequently asked questions you have. There’s anti-virus programs and anti-ransomware programs, but what is the difference? Apart from the name (obviously) they work in different ways and target different activity. The blog today will help you get to grips on what they are and what the difference between them are.

What is an anti-virus?

Viruses are a harmful piece of code that gets in to the operating system of a PC. It requires an individual to generate the code which will change how a computer works and how documents are saved etc. The infection can spread throughout the PC causing a significant amount of damage in a completely different way to what ransomware and malware would.

How are a virus spreads

There are 3 main ways that a virus spreads on a PC:

  • Email attachments
  • Downloads from the Internet
  • From removable media

All PC users needs to take extra care when opening emails, downloading content and be extra careful when using devices such as USB’s. Without being careful and vigilant it can cause damage to your files and the operating system which can interfere with your day-to-day business operations.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware can be deadly for a business. Viruses can cause damage internally with your operating system but so can ransomware on a whole new level. This is when someone takes over your whole system and putting either your data or the whole PC on lock down until you pay a ransom. This is caused by unprotected networks and PCs as when protected you are less likely to be visible to a hacker. 

How it works

The most common way ransomware gets on to a PC is through phishing emails. Once opened and downloaded you have allowed the access of the hacker to pass through your PC in which the ransomware will take over your PC. 

Hackers also detect vulnerabilities in operating systems ad use that to their advantage to sneak in and infect the computers without the user being aware or without the need to trick them.

Difference between Anti-Virus & Anti-Ransomware

Although viruses and ransomware are both just as damaging to a business, the protection options are entirely different because they target different areas in operating systems and PCs. 

An anti-virus is designed to protect the vulnerabilities in the operating systems. It will scan your PC and pick up any threats and malicious software that flags up abnormalities in the software coding. It does not protect against ransomware as the features are specifically for detecting viruses through emails, Internet browsing etc. 

Anti-ransomware on the other hand will detect any suspicious activity either in the operating system or software and will patch up any suspicious activity. They seem the same and people often think either one will protect against both which they do not. Ransomware is much stronger and damaging which is why they are separate packages.

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