“Once upon a time, there was a Good Fairy called Antivirus that would protect your computer from all evildoers…”
Yes, the above is a fairy tale. Sorry to have to break it to you Dorothy, but you aren’t in Kansas anymore.
Having an antivirus installed on your system is a good start. But a good start isn’t the finish line. There is a whole race to run.
First, antivirus software cannot keep up with all the threats that are out there. While it can protect against most known threats, it cannot protect against those it does NOT know about. Anti-virus developers create their software (or updates to your antivirus) AFTER they learn of a new virus. It shouldn’t be hard to understand that this is not an immediate process if you think about it in terms of another familiar virus…Coronavirus, that is. While you had vaccinations against known diseases like measles, polio, etc., you didn’t already have protection against this new virus. It took time to develop the vaccine (i.e., anti-virus).
Even if engineers can develop the antivirus in a matter of hours or days, there is still an opportunity for cyber criminals to attack before the antivirus is developed not to mention the delay in updating your antivirus software once the update is made available.
Another issue is that there are other attacks that cannot be stopped with antivirus. That is, the use of cloud services is at the mercy of the protection provided by the cloud provider.
Users can also unknowingly allow malware to be downloaded to their computer – and your network – by going to malicious websites via malicious ads that can appear to be from legitimate companies or compromised sites or by clicking on links or attachments.
The most dangerous aspect of using antivirus is the false sense of security it gives. Antivirus is not bad. It’s just not enough. Oftentimes, management will decline to implement additional security measures because they believe that antivirus will protect them from all things evil. That is like assuming that since you received a flu shot last year, you will be protected from the flu forever. This is a false assumption because, like with computer viruses, the flu virus mutates and last year’s vaccination won’t fight this year’s virus. To adopt a line from Alice in Wonderland…“It’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”
The solution is to implement layered security. That is things like Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR), Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM), and Security Awareness Training (SAT) for your users.
Otherwise, you may as well just depend on the cootie shot you got on the playground in kindergarten if you don’t keep your antivirus protections updated.