The Difference Between Antivirus and Firewalls

Nov 02, 2021

Keeping your company devices secure is absolutely essential, especially as between 2019-20, almost half of UK businesses (46%) and a quarter of charities (26%) reported having cyber security breaches or attacks.

In our guide to improving your business’ cybersecurity, we discussed implementing antivirus software and firewalls, however, many people don’t know the difference between them and often think they're the same thing. In this guide, we’re going to be taking a look at what antivirus software and firewalls actually are ,and some of the key differences between them.

What is Antivirus Software?

Antivirus is a cybersecurity software that is designed to scan and identify any suspicious or malicious files and software (malware) and prevent it from getting into the system. Malware is an intrusive software that is designed to cause damage to a device, server or network and can lead to large amounts of data damage. Examples of common malware include viruses, worms, Trojan viruses, spyware, adware, and ransomware.

What is Firewall Software?

Firewall software protects local computer network assets against external threats from the World Wide Web. They monitor the computer network security system and restrict the internet traffic coming in and going out and within a private network. Firewalls are important because a network without protection is vulnerable to harmful web traffic, so blocking suspicious intrusion is the first line of defence when protecting your network.

There are three types of firewall:

The Differences Between Antivirus and Firewalls

The biggest difference between antivirus software and firewalls is the way in which they safeguard the systems from malicious attacks as well as what they can defend.

Inhibition vs Security

Firewall virus protection monitors and filters traffic in the network, preventing malicious data from entering your device via the network. Malware can also enter your system through spam links, downloads or from flash drives so once it bypasses the firewall, this is where the antivirus comes into play.

When antivirus has scanned and identifies malware, it prevents it from dispersing further by obliterating or segregating the corrupt file. This is one of the key differences between antivirus and firewalls as whilst the firewall can prevent malware from entering the system, it cannot destroy it.

Get Secure with DMS

At DMS, we can take care of all your cyber security needs. Our Cyber Security Health Check will provide your organisation with a professional assessment detailing the maturity of your security posture. Depending on your scope of requirements, a DMS Healthcheck can be a combination of technical, logical, process-related and physical inspection services, including interviewing of key personnel on both focussed and broad reaching aspects of information security covering 400+ security controls against Cyber Security Essentials Plus, CIS Standards, ISF Standard of Good Practice and ISO27001.

Did you know that the inconspicuous photocopier sitting in the corner of your office could be a data security issue? Not only can we protect your computers, but we have a set of security features to keep your printers and copiers secure.

If your multifunctional device is from DMS, our team of experienced product trained data security technicians can securely protect your MFD/printing device. This can be done on your premises or prior to delivery. Once DMS SECURE safeguards are in place, you can be sure your print data will enjoy uncompromising security protection. Your multifunctional device and its hard drive (HDD) will be protected to ensure your data is more than just secure – they’ll be DMS SECURE.

If you have any concerns about your business’ cyber security, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at DMS today to discuss the solution that is right for you.

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