Tech Alert: Does Antivirus Pickup on "Time Bombs” ?
In today’s tech-savvy world, antivirus is a must. Thankfully you have antivirus, and you’re rocking along. (You do have antivirus, right?) The IT world is full of hackers doing everything in their power to get around every type of defense. Honestly, at this point, it seems like there’s a “new major threat" every week, who can keep up?
Network Administrators here at Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. spend a significant number of hours monthly, checking client network health. And you guessed it, antivirus checks and security scans are a priority on that list.
Between antivirus, anti-malware, and which is covering what – things get a little convoluted. And with threats growing daily, we have to give the villain a little bit of credit. They sure make our job a challenge!
Assuming you do have a good antivirus – let’s talk about how Time Bomb Viruses could affect your system.
What is a Time Bomb Virus?
Unfortunately, a virus is not simply a virus. There are many kinds, and each acts differently. A Time Bomb Virus sits on your computer dormant for an unknown about of time until it’s ready to play. Like a bear waking up after a long winter snooze, the virus is on the hunt to destroy your software and your hardware.
What Your Antivirus Does
Most antivirus (AV) programs detect viruses on a real-time basis. This means that the AV program scans files and applications as they are opened, ran, or downloaded.
But what about viruses that are already on your computer and are not being used? Or even worse, what if a virus is installed and lying dormant on your computer waiting to execute at a predetermined time? Does your AV protect you against these threats? The answer is yes!
How Antivirus Removes Time Bombs from Your System
All AV’s have something called a “Full System Scan”. It will scan every file in your system to detect any virus characteristics, signatures, or known viruses. If your antivirus is up-to-date, these full system scans can detect dormant viruses or “time bombs” too.
During these full system scans, an AV could also perform heuristic detections. Heuristic scanning helps detect viruses that have yet to be defined. It does this by looking at behaviors of applications or files.
The good news is, most AV will detect time bombs. Business grade AV however, gets better definitions of these viruses and their databases get updated more often. So, your chances of detecting a time bomb with business AV is much greater.
Can My Backup Save Time Bombs?
A backup could contain time bombs. Backup applications don't know the difference between regular files and infected files. So, yes, it's entirely possible to backup a file that's infected. The best way to combat this is to have regular full scans ran on your servers.
By running full scans on your server(s), you significantly diminish the chance of a virus being in your system during a backup. A best practice procedure would also be to scan all files that have been restored from a backup to be sure that they are not infected.
New computer threats come out daily, and the best way to stay protected is to keep your antivirus up to date. Working with your managed IT service provider, create a plan to not only confirm that your antivirus is on the latest version, but also a system of monthly checks. Keep up with full system scans to ensure that no threats are living on your system or your backup.
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