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    Cloud Antivirus Vs Traditional Antivirus

    Antivirus (AV) is the most basic form of protection for your computer and other devices. With the advancement of technology, newer types of malware and threats lurk in every nook and corner of the internet. 

    Generally, there are two types of solutions that you can choose from - a traditional service or a cloud-based option.

    Compared to traditional software, cloud-based antiviruses are more powerful when it comes to combating malware and other threats.

    Moreover, a cloud-based solution is lightweight and doesn’t hog your system’s resources when compared to more traditional versions.

    The Benefits Of Cloud-Based Antivirus Solutions

    As more and more companies rely on distributed computing technology to improve protection, the cloud-based AV market is growing.

    Cloud solutions use secure endpoint software which is much lighter than the conventional software. Hence, your system's resources are less strained when you opt for this approach.

    Other notable benefits include:

    • Frequent database updates without the need to physically install all malware signatures on your device
    • Behavioral-based scanning that helps detect newer threats in real-time
    • Lesser consumption of your device’s storage and memory
    • Faster scans alongside multi-layered security
    • Affordable compared to conventional software
    • Hassle-free updates and maintenance
    • Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced features for enhanced security, even from the newest threats

    The Drawbacks

    The biggest problem with a cloud-based provider is that you need to remain connected to the Internet for real-time security to be operational.

    If you’re offline, the software won’t scan any files or folders, thus increasing the chances of newer malware bypassing security and infecting your device. 

    Some other drawbacks include:

    • Everything is checked against the cloud, making some scans more time-consuming
    • Reliance on internet connectivity means if a connection is slow, files won’t be uploaded from the device for scanning
    • There’s the potential risk of downtime at the service provider’s end
    • Data privacy issues expand as your files and folders are uploaded to the cloud

    The Benefits Of Traditional Antivirus Solutions

    Compared to the newer options, most traditional antiviruses are simplistic and serve the basic purposes of scanning along with removing malware and other viruses. It doesn’t need an internet connection to operate and can work as standalone software. 

    Users get better control and customization opportunities with conventional antiviruses. Other notable benefits are:

    • Better control over scans and features
    • Lower dependency on an internet connection
    • Files and folders aren’t uploaded to the cloud, improving data protection and privacy
    • Signature-based detection for enhanced protection against known malware
    • Consistent signature database updates
    • Heuristic monitoring and multi-layered security
    • On-demand scans, registry and USB scans for complete protection

    The Drawbacks

    Traditional AV, even those which use non-signature-based methods to detect new viruses, aren’t always effective against new viruses.

    This is because hackers test their newest threats on available antiviruses in order to ensure that they’re not readily identifiable.

    There are quite a few drawbacks, but the most concerning issue is its impact on a system’s resources. 

    • Signature-based monitoring and conventional technology aren’t enough to prevent attackers from using newer threats to compromise servers and endpoints
    • Device scans impact system performance and slow ongoing work. Hence, more and more users prefer to skip the scans which opens a gateway for malware to enter your device undetected
    • The core security features can’t compete with AI and ML-based behavioral analysis
    • In today's computer world, conventional AV solutions provide little to no practical safety benefit, forcing security professionals to implement other technologies and products to reduce safety threats, placing unnecessary costs on the company

    Which One Is Best?

    Cloud-based AV can provide more security than traditional antivirus solutions that rely on just signature-based detection. They’re lightweight and don’t impact your system’s performance.

    Moreover, you don’t need to install large databases of signatures or download frequent updates as everything is managed by the service provider.

    Besides these benefits, the overall cost is lower than conventional antivirus programs. It’s a newer and better approach to 360-degree protection in real-time without the need to install multiple tools and add-ons.

    Another option is to use both the versions in a complementary fashion to ensure devices and data stay secure both offline and online.

    Bottom Line

    It's particularly important to choose the right approach to protect your endpoints, device, and data as new malware and viruses are launched daily. Recently, AV vendors have started to look at other techniques like a built-in firewall, VPN, IPS, and behavioral analysis to boost their capacity to detect new and unknown risks.

    These features aren’t included in traditional solutions, and if they get an update, it may take days until the end user receives it.

    Cloud-based protection is the future, and the sooner you adopt it, the better it will be for you and your business.