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In-depth Look At The Antivirus Software

I am sure that we all know what antivirus is, or we have heard the name before. And we all know an antivirus is a security software used to protect our companies against computer threats like malware. I have already gone in-depth on firewalls, and I think that begs for an in-depth on antivirus since they both do a similar job on a computer system. So before we can go in-depth on the antivirus, we first need to know precisely what it is.

What Is Antivirus?

Application software provides security for the computer system against threats and malicious computer programs that come from the internet or through connected peripherals. However, it is not easy to prevent the dangers of the internet if you do not have a firewall.

The main job of the antivirus is to scan the computer, detect malicious programs and then proceed to eliminate them or quarantine them depending on the strength of the malicious software.

Here is the path that the antivirus takes to protect a computer system from threats

Mode Of Operation


When you open the antivirus program, you will have to do the first thing before you can know if malicious programs infect the machine is to run a scan. There are several types of scans, and each goes a certain depth into the computer in its search for malicious programs.

A light scan will only scan some parts of the computer and may take a few minutes, while a deep scan will scan almost every aspect of the computer and could take an hour to complete.

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After the antivirus has canned the computer, the antivirus now becomes aware of it if there is malicious software on the computer. It then locates the file where the malicious software is residing in the computer.   


After the antivirus has detected the malicious software, it recognizes the type of malicious program the threat is.


The antivirus then finally takes action against the malware. It will then remove the infected file and restore an original backup file of the program.

After the detection has been carried out and the antivirus cannot identify and remove the virus, the antivirus will discard the infected file and then replace it with a virus-free backup version.

Antivirus Generations

There have been various generations of antivirus software due to upgrades in the antivirus technologies to match that of the malware programs released daily.

Viruses were easy to remove initially, which meant that antivirus programs did not need to upgrade. However, after viruses started evolving into more malicious versions, there was a need to upgrade the antivirus technology to deal with the new viruses.

  • The first generation came with simple scanners that used virus signatures to identify the particular virus and were limited to the signature of a specific virus. These could not work on ‘wildcard’ viruses.
  • The second generation did not rely on the virus signature but instead used a heuristic approach to search for the virus. It searched for code blocks that were related to the viruses.
  • The third generation– These were memory-resident antivirus programs that could recognize viruses by their activities on the computer system and not their structure.
  • The fourth-generation – Antivirus programs combined several antivirus methods, including scanning and monitoring to search for viruses. They were also known as the behavior-blocking software and were incorporated with the operating system of the computer system to observe virus-like actions that happened in real-time. When there was an uncertain action, the antivirus program would immediately block it. This prevented any further damage that might have occurred to the computer system.     

Antivirus Limitations

  1. They only support ‘common interface file system’ and not NIFS file protocol
  2. It cannot check on read-only files


The antivirus software has evolved over the years to match the virus programs which are released daily. Antivirus is now made with the latest technology to identify and remove virus software that now comes with high malicious intent and sophistication that even prevents some antivirus software from identifying them.              

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