Antivirus vs Antimalware: Difference and Comparison

Cybersecurity is one of the most important things to take care of nowadays, especially for professionals who own businesses and organizations. For this, the two most popular types of protection programs include antivirus and antimalware. However, each of them handles different kinds of threats, and that too in very different ways.

Key Takeaways

  1. Antivirus software protects computers from viruses, which are designed to cause harm to the system.
  2. Antimalware software protects computers from various types of malicious software, including viruses, spyware, and adware.
  3. Antivirus software scans for viruses specifically, while antimalware software scans for various types of malicious software.

Antivirus vs Antimalware

Antivirus software is designed to protect your computer from viruses, a specific type of malicious software. Antimalware software is a broader term that encompasses protection against all types of malicious software, including viruses, worms, trojans, ransomware, and spyware.

Antivirus vs Antimalware

Antivirus is mostly put to use in personal computers for security against traditional viruses. These viruses fall under the category of malware. The program works best when the threat is predictable. However, antivirus is not always the best option when it comes to the overall protection of the device. Even though it is comparatively cheaper, it only works against viruses and doesn’t even update frequently. 

Meanwhile, antimalware is mostly put to use in professional settings for security against any and every kind of malware. This includes viruses, worms, adware, trojans, and much more. It offers protection against any unpredictable threat that the device may have. Compared to antivirus, antimalware is more expensive. However, it has issues with system compatibility.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAntivirusAntimalware
MeaningIt is a cybersecurity program that protects devices from viruses only.It is a cybersecurity program that offers overall protection to a device from all kinds of threats.
ServiceIt works best when the threat is pre-existing or predictable.It works against pre-existing as well as unpredictable threats.
UsageIt is used for personal computers.It is used for computers in professional settings.
CostIt is relatively cheaper.It is more expensive.
UpdatingIt does not update its program very often.It updates its program frequently for protection against new malware.
CompatibilityIt is compatible with almost every device.The program faces compatibility issues.

What is Antivirus?

The first known antivirus software was released by G Data Software in 1987. It was a product for the Atari ST platform and was called the ‘Ultimate Virus Killer.’ Bernd Fix carried out the installation of the program and removal of the virus. The aftermath of this event was that antivirus started to gain popularity across the world.

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Essentially, the program is cybersecurity software that is designed to protect a device from viruses. It works well for pre-existing and predictable threats. This program can well protect personal computers that are not under much scrutiny.

Antivirus detects any threats that are attacking a device and work at removing them completely. Since the malware that it detects is only of a specific kind, it does not provide overall protection. It can only work against traditional and simple threats. Moreover, the program is not updated since the threats only seem predictable.

However, antivirus does come at an affordable price. People can use it without worrying much about its working of it. At least some level of security is offered by using this program, which is obviously better than no security at all. Some updates to the program also equip it to offer protection against malicious spams, phishing attacks, scams, and URLs.

computer antivirus

What is Antimalware?

Antimalware is cybersecurity software that offers protection to a device from any and every kind of malware. This includes viruses, worms, spyware, adware, trojans, and much more. It scans a system for pre-existing threats as well as unpredictable threats that may come it’s way. In totality, the program provides all-around protection, making it best for professional use.

Antimalware has quite a few similarities with antivirus in terms of design. However, antimalware has a broader coverage and many upgraded and advanced features. The program works with sandboxing technology that allows advanced protection against malware.

Initially, it carries out behavior monitoring which helps identify a threat based on suspicious behavior. It then flags multiple files as threats, preventing them from executing and infecting the device. If a similar file enters the device in the future, it is eliminated as well. The best part is that all of this work is done within seconds.

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Compared to antivirus, Antimalware is a tab bit expensive. However, this is only because it offers more features and advanced security. Its overall threat protection is appropriate for businesses and organizations that require premium security for the large and complicated software that they use. The program is updated often, but it sometimes has compatibility problems.

antimalware

Main Differences Between Antivirus and Antimalware

  1. Antivirus is a cybersecurity program that protects devices from viruses only, whereas antimalware is a cybersecurity program that offers overall protection to a device from all kinds of threats.
  2. Antivirus works best when the threat is pre-existing or predictable, whereas antimalware works against pre-existing as well as unpredictable threats.
  3. Antivirus is used for personal computers, whereas antimalware is used for computers in professional settings.
  4. Antivirus is relatively cheaper, whereas antimalware may seem to be quite heavy on the pockets.
  5. Antivirus does not update its program very often, whereas antimalware updates its program frequently for protection against new malware.
  6. Antivirus is compatible with almost every device, whereas antimalware face compatibility issues.
Difference Between Antivirus and Antimalware
References
  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/242857.242869
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/2484313.2484355

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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8 thoughts on “Antivirus vs Antimalware: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The detailed overview of the main differences between antivirus and antimalware serves as a comprehensive guide for professionals looking to bolster their cybersecurity defenses and safeguard their digital assets effectively.

    Reply
  2. The reference section pointing to relevant scholarly articles adds a layer of academic rigor to the content, making it a valuable resource for practitioners and researchers seeking in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity concepts.

    Reply
  3. Emphasizing the cost, compatibility, and updating differences between antivirus and antimalware sheds light on the various considerations that individuals and organizations need to account for when selecting security software.

    Reply
  4. In this day and age, knowing the differences between antivirus and antimalware is crucial, as these programs play a crucial role in protecting our digital devices from a variety of security threats.

    Reply
  5. The historical insight into the first known antivirus software further enriches our understanding of the evolution of cybersecurity measures, highlighting the rapid advancements in digital threat detection and prevention.

    Reply
  6. The explanation of antimalware’s behavior monitoring and advanced features underscores the importance of comprehensive security measures in professional settings, particularly when dealing with complex software systems.

    Reply
  7. The comparison table provided helps differentiate the two programs based on various parameters, making it easier for professionals to choose the right cybersecurity solution for their specific needs.

    Reply
  8. The detailed exploration of the parameters, usage scenarios, and technological mechanisms of antivirus and antimalware aligns with the need for sophisticated security solutions in contemporary digital environments, providing practical insights for professionals across industries.

    Reply

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