Is Cloud Based Anti-Virus An Effective Means Of Security?

Is Cloud Based Anti-Virus An Effective Means Of Security?

Infographic Stats
Infographic

Is Cloud Based Anti-Virus an Effective Means of Security?

Anti-virus systems are now a de facto part of modern computing. In a world where every webpage, email and downloaded file has the potential to contain malicious code or trojan horses there is a need to be more vigilant than ever about the security of your computer and your data.

Traditionally anti-virus programs have been installed directly on a computer’s hard drive – running in the background to alert users to phishing attacks, dangerous files and other online threats. However, as the cloud computing continues to expand we are now seeing the advent of alternative methods of protection – specifically cloud-based anti-virus programs.

How does it work?

Cloud-based anti-virus typically uses lightweight software which runs on your compute while offloading the majority of data analysis to the provider’s infrastructure. This has the effect of using less of your system’s resources and reducing the likelihood of the anti-virus agent itself being compromised due to a design vulnerability.

What are its advantages?

The benefit that will most appeal to users is the always up-to-date nature of a cloud-based system. There is no requirement to ensure that virus definitions are updated before starting a full system scan because the cloud always has the most recent data, and the anti-virus will often scan suspicious files and webpages by using multiple antivirus engines ensuring that nothing slips through the net.

Another major advantage is speed – the lack of a lengthy installation process and removal of resource-heavy software means not only can a computer be scanned much faster, but the computer itself should run more smoothly than with an ‘always-on’ system running in the background.

What are its limitations?

Naturally, the biggest drawback of using a cloud-based solution is that you need to be connected to the internet to take full advantage of it. If you are not online the software cannot query the anti-virus cloud – though this can be addressed by the program storing a local cache of the most relevant queries.

Secondly, network bandwidth limitations will frequently prevent some cloud-based anti-virus software from sending the entirety of files that need to be scanned. The workaround utilised by providers is that the software will submit information about the file in question rather than the file itself – though this method could potentially be exploited by skilled hackers and cyber-criminals.

Can it replace traditional anti-virus?

There is no doubt that cloud-based anti-virus programs could be used to replace local software – but it isn’t necessarily a recommended strategy. Either way, they certainly give you a ‘second opinion’ by running in conjunction with a more traditional program.

Normal anti-virus use so much of a system’s resources that it is never recommended to install more than one at a time – especially as two local anti-viruses running at the same time could also cause system conflicts – but an online anti-virus tool that performs a quick scan of your system without running in the background shouldn’t cause any problems.

Have you used cloud-based anti-virus? Did you find them to be an effective way of protecting your machine? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

Follow Me!

Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.
Follow Me!

One Response to Is Cloud Based Anti-Virus An Effective Means Of Security?

  1. yes, definitely it is a way better option if we compare it to traditional online anti-virus, though it comes with a bundle of limitations but yet a preferred choice over others and yes good to know things have started in cloud security domain.

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most Cloud computing is rapidly revolutionizing the way we do business. Instead of being a blurry buzzword, it has become a facet of everyday life. Most people may not quite understand how the cloud works, but electricity is quite difficult to fathom as well. Anyway, regardless of…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and store data. The…

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter

Using Big Data To Make Cities Smarter The city of the future is impeccably documented. Sensors are used to measure air quality, traffic patterns, and crowd movement. Emerging neighborhoods are quickly recognized, public safety threats are found via social networks, and emergencies are dealt with quicklier. Crowdsourcing reduces commuting times, provides people with better transportation…

2014 Future Of Cloud Computing Survey Results

2014 Future Of Cloud Computing Survey Results

Engine Yard Joins North Bridge Venture Partners, Gigaom Research and Industry Collaborators to Unveil 2014 Future of Cloud Computing Survey Results SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Jun 25, 2014) – Engine Yard, the leading cloud application management platform, today announced its role as a collaborator in releasing the results of the fourth annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey,…

Big Data Analytics Adoption

Big Data Analytics Adoption

Big Data Analytics Adoption Big Data is an emerging phenomenon. Nowadays, many organizations have adopted information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) in business to handle huge amounts of data and gain better insights into their business. Many scholars believe that Business Intelligence (BI), solutions with Analytics capabilities, offer benefits to companies to achieve competitive…

CONNECT TO THE CLOUD

 

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Branded Content Programs

Advertising