Antivirus firewall software vendors have shifted the marketing crosshairs to Small office and home (SOHO) users by providing them with alternative defense against hackers, viruses and other malwares that infect information technology. These antivirus and firewall developers offer a scaled down alternative to purchasing expensive firewall appliances and intrusion detection hardware big companies spend on. As a SOHO user, one should at least know the rudiments of antivirus firewall software and what and how they work. In the long run, this knowledge will help a user maximize the effectiveness of his software investment.
Antivirus firewall software has three main parts. These parts work in conjunction with each other thereby increasing their defensive capabilities threefold compared to working alone.
The first part is the antivirus software which primarily responsible for detecting viruses that comes from Trojan horses, emails and worms. It does the job of periodically scanning the computer system for malicious code that could have infected it. It cleans the infected files. It also quarantines infected system resources and sends it to the vendor or developer for research and a possible solution.
The antivirus also scan incoming traffic from email, browsing activities, downloads, file transfers and network traffic for any signs of security breach. It does all this in real time. A proper antivirus firewall software engine also updates its core programming and virus database with a central server from time to time as viruses are churned by the hundred every day.
The second part is the firewall software. The task of monitoring all kinds of traffic into the system rests on this software. All computer systems communicate with each other whether via internet, local area network, vpn or wireless network using data packets. A firewall software analyzes these data for corrupted and altered packets. It drops these packets if it finds it a threat based on user-configured or heuristic scans or a set of rules. Trojan viruses sometimes cannot be detected by antivirus software but an antivirus firewall software can detect its activity and instruct the antivirus to quarantine the source.
The third part is the antispyware software. Spywares are mellowed down viruses that hide inside a computer system not to destroy it but to gather data. Even legitimate corporations are employing these strategies for their marketing campaigns. Some spywares also gather credit card details and other sensitive information which can be used for blackmail and other nefarious schemes. Antispyware software prevents this malicious code from sending out information out of a computer system with the help of the antivirus and the firewall.