Today’s businesses need to know about the latest technology and how they can leverage these options for their organization’s IT security solution. An example of a technology that has seen serious innovation lately is antivirus. Traditional antivirus solutions are now being replaced with Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV), enabling businesses to keep up with the ever-changing IT security threat landscape.

Next-Gen Antivirus, combined with the proper level of IT security network monitoring and management, is increasingly being adopted as the new staple for a best-practice IT security approach. In this post, we will explain what Next-Gen Antivirus is and why it should be part of your overall IT security strategy.

What Does Next-Generation Antivirus Do to Protect Your Business That Traditional Antivirus Can’t?

Traditional antivirus is definition-based, meaning it uses patterns unique to malware to identify whether the suspect file is a threat. These definitions take time to identify and patch into your AV tool, leaving you vulnerable in the interim. Today’s businesses face tens of hundreds of thousands of potential threat variants that are continually evolving and targeting their vulnerabilities. The fast-changing landscape of cybercrime has made it increasingly difficult for traditional, definition-based antivirus software to keep up with all the new potential threats.

This challenge led Antivirus vendors to develop Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV), which is not definition based, but risk and behavior-based. In other words, NGAV does not focus on what the software is, but what the software is trying to do. If the file in question attempts to do things that suggest the file could be malicious or high-risk, the Next Generation Antivirus software can step in, and stop any harmful processes from damaging your machine and/or network. The shift to behavior-based antivirus allows businesses to proactively defend themselves against new threats instead of playing catch-up.

Watch that video below to hear Aldridge CIO, Chad Hiatt, explain what Next-Generation Antivirus is, and what it can do for your business.

How Does Next-Generation Antivirus Defend Against IT Security Threats?

Detection & Remediation

If a file begins performing high-risk behavior, NGAV can step in and stop it. More advanced threats are able to appear harmless, pass through the antivirus, and then turn malicious later. If a file turns malicious, NGAV can essentially “play the attack in reverse” and undo any changes that file made since it was first downloaded, providing protection even against the most sophisticated attacks.

Notification

Once a threat is detected, Next-Generation Antivirus can automatically notify your security team. Your security team can then vet the alert and jump into action if needed. If your organization has a specific security incident procedure, NGAV can be customized to follow it.

Collaboration

Some higher-tier NGAV tools can communicate across your organization. If one computer detects a threat, it can then inform other devices on your network to be on the lookout so they can more quickly recognize and stop the threat in its tracks. If the identified malware is already on other machines on your network, NGAV can automatically remove it.

Learns Your Business

Next-Generation Antivirus can learn how your business operates and tune itself to identify behaviors that aren’t consistent with your usual operations. For example, if someone typically works between 8 AM – 5 PM NGAV will scrutinize activity taking place at 3 AM. Every business operates in it’s own unique way; NGAV turns that into one if it’s greatest strengths.

Can I Buy a Next-Gen Antivirus Tool and Just Turn It On?

It’s strongly recommended you engage with IT security experts to configure and implement any security tool; Next-Generation Antivirus is no exception. Every business is different, and there are some regular, legitimate business activities that may look risky to a Next-Generation Antivirus product, causing the tool to generate false alerts, or prevent that legitimate process from happening. Your IT provider should be able to look at these alerts and say, “No, that’s okay, that’s trustworthy.” They’re responsible for tuning the product by watching to see what the antivirus tool is reporting back, blocking, and trusting, so they can adjust the tool to distinguish between a trustworthy operation and a potential threat.

Any antivirus product, or any security product you invest time and money into implementing, cannot run completely on autopilot. While a lot of these products (when you’re subscribed to the appropriate tiers) can quickly take active action and remediate risk on their own, they still need to be reviewed by a network operations team, security operations team, or a support team that can assess the alerts that generated by the antivirus to make sure the tool is still doing the right thing for the organization.

A Next-Generation Antivirus product is just one piece of a comprehensive IT security approach that might also include firewall services for your network, cloud services, and/or Software as a Service (SaaS) provider services. You need a group of IT security professionals who truly understand how each of these tools function, and can configure these tools to work together within your environment, creating an air-tight IT security perimeter.

Our Next-Generation Antivirus Offering

We believe Next-Generation Antivirus is so important we include by default in our baseline IT Outsourcing offering. Also included in our baseline IT Outsourcing offering is 24/7 Network Monitoring. If you choose us as your IT Outsourcing provider, you will be protected by the most cutting-edge security tools and a team of security experts who are always watching your business.

IT security is an ever-evolving and critical component of our Framework for Successful IT, which we use to deliver best-fit IT solutions that cover all elements of our client’s IT strategy, design, implementation, and support needs. Visit our Cybersecurity services page to learn more about how we help businesses like yours to defend against today’s threats, and schedule time to talk with a member of our team to get started.