Difference Between Antivirus and Antimalware (With Table)

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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.

Antivirus vs Antimalware

The difference between antivirus and antimalware is that antivirus is a security program that offers multipurpose protection only from viruses and pre-existing threats whereas antimalware is a security program that offers the highest level of protection from any and every kind of threat including viruses, worms, trojans, adware, and much more.

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, when it comes to the overall protection of the device, antivirus is not always the best option. 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. As compared to antivirus, antimalware is more expensive. However, it often has issues with system compatibility.

Comparison Table Between Antivirus and Antimalware

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 generally used for personal computers.It is generally 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 often 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’. The installation of the program and removal of the virus was carried out by Bernd Fix. The aftermath of this event was that antivirus started to gain popularity across the world.

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

Antivirus detects any threats that are attacking a device and works 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 very often since the threats only seem to be predictable.

However, antivirus does come at an affordable price. People can use it without worrying much about the 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.

What is Antimalware?

Antimalware is a 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 features that are upgraded and more advanced. The program works with sandboxing technology that allows advanced protection against malware.

Initially, it carries out behaviour monitoring which helps identify a threat based on suspicious behaviour. It then flags multiple files as threats and prevents 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.

As 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 who require premium security for the large and complicated software that they use. The program is updated often but it does have problems with compatibility at times.

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 generally used for personal computers whereas antimalware is generally 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 often faces compatibility issues.

Conclusion

Antivirus and antimalware are two kinds of cybersecurity software that essentially have a similar design. They protect devices from threats. However, antivirus, as the name suggests, only works against viruses and pre-existing threats. Meanwhile, antimalware protects a device from any and every kind of malware.

Due to this, antivirus is generally optimal for personal computers whereas antimalware is widely used in large businesses and organisations. Moreover, antivirus tens to be much cheaper than the latter. This is because antimalware provides upgraded features and a broader coverage as compared to antivirus. Regardless, it is up to the consumer to choose which of the two might get the work done for them.

References

  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/242857.242869
  2. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/2484313.2484355
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