In this article the author looks at the available antivirus solutions and how they differ in terms of technologies, the level of protection afforded, and their suitability, depending on usage scenarios and the type of environment that needs protection. With threats ranging from traditional computer viruses and worms through to email-borne attachments containing malicious code and trojans, the threat landscape is ever-evolving and extremely diverse. An introduction to the various technologies is followed by an analysis of the approaches employed by the different solutions. The areas analysed include detection, policy enforcement, behavioural detection and simulation, and how they complement each other to provide robust protection. Sample deployment architectures are discussed for the heterogeneous environments often seen in modern organisations. The question why antivirus in the traditional sense is not a panacea is discussed. The challenges faced by the technology and the defence-in-depth strategies required to mitigate any remaining gaps are also examined.
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