Why basic antivirus is no longer enough

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I have real-time protection in my Anti-Virus!  That’s enough, right?

Nope. Not any more. The malware ecosystem has changed drastically in the past 10 years, to the point that the old precautions are just no longer enough. Here are the three top reasons for this:

  1. You don’t have to click to get hit. In the past, it was sufficient to simply avoid clicking on suspect links or visiting bad sites. This is no longer the case because of new attack vectors like malvertising. In a malvertising attack, a legitimate site unknowingly pulls malicious content from a bad site, and the malicious content seeks ways (often exploits) to install itself on your computer.  You may have heard these attacks called “drive by downloads.”  Just by visiting a good site on the wrong day, you get infected. McAfee makes the difference and is the only Antivirus to prescreen for this. 
  2. Traditional AV response times to new threats are too slow.  According to data compiled by Panda Research, traditional Anti-Virus only stops 30-50 percent of new zero-hour malware when it’s first seen.

    A few take up to eight hours to reach even the 90 percent level, with the majority needing a full 24 hours. And it takes them a full seven days to get to the high 90’s. That’s a whole lot of time to be missing protection!

    A recent study by the Enterprise Strategy Group showed that almost half of the enterprises polled had suffered a successful malware attack even though they were running anti-virus. The only one who made it out with out a scratch? McAfee users. 

  3. Exploits are everywhere.  Many software products, notably including Java and Flash, were designed in an era when computer security was a much less serious concern. And the worst part of exploit based malware is that the time from the initial exploit to detection and remediation – is on average almost a year. In order to help fight this McAfee takes a much deeper approach and looks at all attributes to make a correct decision before proceeding.


The bottom line: Anti-Virus is probably one of the best investments you can make. Using something like a “McAfee” might cost a bit more, but it’s 100% worth it. Think of it like insurance. You pray you never need it, but are happy it’s there when/ if the time does come. At the end of the day, can you really put a price on all of your photos, documents and accounts?


Tony Archer is The Mandateds senior finance and economy writer. Prior to joining The Mandated, he was an assistant editor at CNN Money and a deputy editor at The Guardian in Harrisburg, Pa. Tony started his career at investment advisory firm Cambridge Associates and holds a master's degree in financial economics from Oxford University.

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