Next Generation Antivirus for the Home
April 16, 2020
Now that many of us are working remotely, it is important to make sure that our home computer’s defenses meet today’s demands. Unfortunately, the antivirus software of yesterday can no longer compete with today’s advanced persistent threats (ATP). Home users do, however, have several next generation antivirus (NGAV) options available to them. NGAV software goes beyond traditional signature-based detection by using algorithms and artificial intelligence to examine processes, and block malicious tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP).
The following two lists include some of the top rated antivirus/ endpoint protection software packages as determined by independent software testers. They are intended for informational purposes only and are not to be misconstrued as endorsements by the District.
Antivirus Software (Free)
- AVG AntiVirus Free
- Avira Free Antivirus
- Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
- Panda Free Antivirus
- Microsoft Windows Defender (included with Windows)
- XProtect (included with macOS)
NGAV/ Endpoint Protection (Paid)
A reasonable and affordable option for users at home would be to use a free antivirus and a paid for NGAV together, thereby affording users a layered defense.
A note on specific vendors/ programs not listed above.
- Avast: The company was compromised once, and one of its other products was infected with malicious code twice.
- CCleaner: The software has been infected twice (owned by Avast).
- Kaspsersky: Both Federal and State agencies are prohibited from using Kaspersky products due to concerns over the Russian based software company.
Post Malware Cleaners
In the event that a system has been infected with malware, the following free tools can be very effective.
Software/ Registry Cleaners
As mentioned above, CCleaner has been compromised twice. Fortunately, Windows 10 has evolved to a point where many professionals no longer advocate using third-party cleaners (no need for the extra software bloat, etc.) Instead, performing maintenance on Windows is your best bet -— How-to Geek has a good article on what you should do instead of using CCleaner.
If you haven’t already done so, IITS suggests that you take the time to review Best Security Practices While Working from Home
If you have any questions regarding this advisory, please feel free to email the Office of Information Security.