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.
Post Malware Cleaners
In the event that a system has been infected with malware, the following free tools can be very effective.
- Malwarebytes (Windows and macOS)
- MS Safety Scanner (Windows)
Products No Longer Supported By the District
- 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).
- FileZilla: Formerly compromised.
- Kaspersky: Both Federal and State agencies are prohibited from using Kaspersky products due to concerns over the Russian-based software company.
- VLC: Has been used to launch malware.
Software/ Registry Cleaners
As mentioned above, CCleaner has been compromised twice. Fortunately, Windows 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 your Windows system is your best bet (see what you should do instead of using CCleaner courtesy of How-To-Geek).
If you haven’t already done so, ITS 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.