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October 2011

Antimalware product suites: Understanding capabilities and limitations

Protecting endpoint computers from malware is critical to providing reliable operations, safeguarding data and maintaining an acceptable compliance posture. Standalone antivirus products of the past have matured to encompass a variety of tools for securing endpoints in an enterprise setting. As the threats associated with malicious software increase in sophistication, so do the capabilities of antimalware tools. Understanding the capabilities and limitations of components that form an enterprise antimalware suite is critical to selecting the right product for your organization and deriving value from it. One way to understand what components we can expect to find in an antimalware product suite is to consider how malicious software often propagates: Through the victim’s browser Via email in the form of malicious links and attachments Through local network and removable media Via exploits and social engineering tricks An antimalware product suite should tackle all these infection vectors, attempting to stop malware before it ...

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