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What is Security Software?
Security software, also called cybersecurity software, refers to any software that serves to protect a computer system, its applications, and its data. Most devices come with security software included in the operating system, but many businesses and individuals adopt additional security software applications to protect their devices and information from advanced security threats.
Types of Security Software
There are many types of security software on the market today. In general, these tools can be categorized according to their function: detecting access, preventing access, or monitoring access.
The first line of defense in a security software arsenal are those that detect unusual behavior or suspicious activity. They are responsible for scanning an entire perimeter and recording all activity. That way, anything that appears out of the ordinary can be addressed as quickly as possible. Common detection tools include:
- Anti-malware: Prevents the download or installation of known or suspected viruses, spyware, trojan horses, and other undesirable files.
- Intrusion detection and prevention: Scans computer and network activities and analyzes events for signs of intrusion
- Log management: Stores and analyzes log files in a computer system
- Security information and event management: Detects and automatically responds to security breaches
The most common security tools are used to prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to a computer system. These tools must be able to identify a credible threat and take measures to prevent the threat from advancing. Common preventative security software tools include:
- Firewall: Divides a private network from external networks, like the internet
- Risk management: Identifies, analyzes, and responds to security risk factors
- Predictive analytics: Studies large amounts of data and reveals trends around potential security risks
The innermost layer of security software applications consists of those that verify users’ identities and monitor their activity. These tools are responsible for ensuring that no authorized users have more access than they need and keeping a record of all actions a user takes. Common security monitoring tools include:
- Password managers: Stores and generates passwords for online accounts
- Identity and access management: Defines and manages the roles and access privileges of individual network users
- Zero trust: Authenticates and authorizes every user or device connecting to a network internally or externally before grinding them access to any data or application
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This article was updated by Kaiti Norton.