Data Protection: Antivirus vs Backup

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Although you are certainly familiar with the terms "antivirus" and "backup," you may be unclear about whether you truly need both to secure your data. After all, data security is a guarantee made by both backup and antivirus software. One without the other is possible?

To help you make an informed decision, we'll go through the characteristics of each system below.

What is antivirus?

Antivirus software detects, prevents, and removes malicious viruses from your computer. Typically, the application works in the background to scan for, identify, and eliminate viruses from a computer. Several antivirus programs also include programmable firewalls and page filtering to secure your computer.

Antivirus systems examine the data from websites, files, programs, and applications in order to identify and eliminate malware in real-time. They also do regular scans to look for any new threats to your network and computer.

How does it work?

Manufacturers of antivirus software are specialists in viruses and malware. They build up a substantial collection of well-known malware and virus threats and train their software to detect, flag, and get rid of them. The application will scan and compare any incoming files or code to the database whenever they are transmitted through your network traffic. The file is isolated, examined, and removed if a match is discovered.

Some antivirus software programs enable you to view the risks so that your IT team can manually evaluate and remove them.

Threats Antivirus can detect

Many potential threats can be found by your antivirus program. The most prevalent ones include:

Trojan horses

Trojan horses are certain kinds of malicious software that can take over your computer. Programs known as Trojan horses are designed to steal, alter, or obstruct crucial data or documents. The virus is referred to as a Trojan because it first seems to be a legitimate application or file. By downloading and running the virus on their computers, unaware users unintentionally damage their network. The virus can spread quickly, infecting other computers on the same network, and can cause a variety of problems. It can corrupt important files, delete data, or even render the entire system unusable. It can also steal sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal information.


Worms are a type of malware that reproduces itself. It typically spreads through email attachments, file-sharing applications, social networking sites, external hard drives, or other communications that can hide it. It also spreads through security weaknesses on your computer. Worms are more dangerous than conventional viruses since they spread quickly and have the power to erase data. They can even replicate themselves and spread to other computers on a network, making them a difficult threat to contain. This is especially concerning for businesses, as they often have large networks with multiple computers that are vulnerable to attack.


Hackers can get access to and control over devices thanks to rootkits, a form of malware that frequently attacks your operating system and apps. After rootkits get access, cybercriminals will steal personal or financial information. Additionally, they could infect your server with malware, bombard users with spam emails, and engage in DDoS attacks that overwhelm your server and render it inoperable.


Without your awareness, spyware applications install themselves automatically on your computer and track your online activity. In order for outside parties to perform identity theft or steal sensitive financial and social security data, the data is collected and provided to them. This data is often collected by malicious actors who use a variety of methods to gain access to this information. They may use malware to gain access to a victim's computer, or they may use phishing techniques to try to trick victims into providing their personal information.

Another sort of malware that is regularly used is keyloggers. Every keystroke is recorded by these keyloggers, which routinely steal passwords and obtain access to private files and sensitive data. This type of malicious software can be used to gain access to a person's online banking accounts, credit cards, and other financial information. It can also be used to access confidential work documents, emails, and other private information.


Adware is software that shows advertising on your device without your permission. Your browser will regularly show deceptive adverts, pop-up windows, banners, and full-screen auto-play advertising as a result of this infection. These ads are often difficult to distinguish from legitimate content, as they can be made to look like part of the website. They can also be disguised as system notifications or warnings, making them even more difficult to identify.


The terms "robot" and "network" are combined to form the phrase "botnet," as the bot use networks of interconnected, hijacked computers to conduct frauds and cyberattacks. These bots launch massive assaults, such as the dissemination of malware and server crashes, using a network of linked computers.


Computers are attacked by ransomware, a type of malicious software that locks users out of their systems until a ransom is paid. Since years, prominent ransomware attacks have targeted large businesses. Nevertheless, even small businesses are increasingly vulnerable. This is due to the fact that they often lack the resources to properly protect themselves, making them an attractive target for cybercriminals. Furthermore, small businesses tend to have sophisticated security protocols in place, making them more susceptible to attack.

Browser hijackers

Browser hijackers act as an online "window" and alter a browser's functionality. Users could unwittingly acquire a browser hijacker when downloading and installing free software or apps from the internet. Personal information and surfing patterns are captured and sold as a result of people using the hijacked browser to do searches or interact with it. Browser hijackers may also be used to display unwelcome, continuous advertising.

Every firm must manage and prevent the threat of viruses and malware. Your best line of defense and the first line of defense against these (and other) threats is antivirus software.

Limitations of Antivirus

Antivirus software will safeguard you from viruses and other dangers. It cannot, however, retrieve your files in the event of a hard drive failure, a computer malfunction, or an accidentally deleted file.

While they cannot completely protect you from infections, backup solutions can recover and retrieve your most crucial data when you need it the most.

Malware and hackers provide a significant risk, but your firm also confronts other threats. Consider the following scenarios:

  • The payroll data is kept on your accountant's laptop. All of the employee information is lost when their computer is taken while they are on the road.
  • The warehouse adjacent to your building catches fire, severely destroying a large number of your desktop PCs. New hardware is swiftly provided by insurance, but all of your client information is gone.
  • Your sales director knocks over his laptop and spills coffee. The Excel file on his laptop, which he used to keep all of the company's sales leads, is no longer there.
  • Your office manager accidentally reformats the drive while attempting to backup files to an external hard drive after misreading a prompt. Your backups are no longer there.
  • Unintentionally downloading third-party software, an employee ruins the whole user experience for your Shopify business. If only you had an online backup, you could easily get back to how things were.
  • The operating system of your computer gets stuck in a loop when you decide to upgrade it. Your IT expert needs to delete the entire device. Every saved thing on it will be lost.

Your antivirus application is fully functional, however, it is not very helpful under these circumstances. On the other hand, data backup offers some protection against these data losses.

What is Backup?

Backup software creates and stores copies of data in order to keep it secure. Data backups enable you to recover lost data to its original state in the event of a system breakdown, hardware failure, data corruption, or other disasters.

Important data has to be regularly backed up, since data losses can completely disrupt business operations. Certain information may even require secure backups and preservation under privacy rules. Computer backups should be stored on various devices or mediums, such as tape, external hard drives, or secure cloud storage, to protect the business against data losses caused by hardware or software failure. Here is a thorough article about backups.

To learn more about how backups can help you from ransomware, check out our article here.

How Backups Help You

Most contemporary data backup software is cloud-based and made available by SaaS service providers, such as backup security specialists. Data backup and recovery procedures are frequently automated for the sake of business security and to guarantee that files are always protected.

The solution is installed on PCs and mobile devices and saves data to an external source. Data is copied, encrypted, and sent to a cloud server until the files need to be restored. It only takes a few clicks to complete the restoration procedure. Some firms may use cloud backup software and spread out their data storage for the utmost peace of mind.

The backup method you select may change based on how much data needs to be backed up and how frequently. For instance, a large financial institution might require hourly backups, but an individual would only do it when getting a new laptop or upgrading their operating system. Backing up data is an essential practice for any individual or business, as it helps to ensure that important information is not lost in the event of a system crash or other technical issues. For individuals, backing up data can be as simple as copying files to an external hard drive or a cloud storage service. This ensures that if the system fails, the data is still accessible. It is important to back up data regularly, as it can be difficult to recover data from a crashed system.

Do you need both antivirus and backup software?

There are a number of threats out there that might compromise your data and security. A trustworthy antivirus program is your best line of defense against malevolent hackers and online crooks. Your only defense against catastrophic data loss is to back up your essential data using backup software. Utilizing both technologies is the best way to ensure business continuity and prevent data loss.

If you're looking for a full backup solution that runs in the background and completes its work without interfering with you or your team, Ottomatik is a great option for any kind of establishment that wants to keep its data well-managed and protected


Installing antivirus software is one of your defenses against malware and other harmful programs that might damage your data, but this does not mean that antivirus software is adequate in and of itself to protect data from external threats. The backups will excel in this situation. Backups can easily prevent you from losing all of your data in the event of external threats like fires, flooding, and other natural disasters. Greater data protection will come from using them together. Ottomatik can ease your mind by helping you manage your data with our easy to setup backups. Find more about us and start protecting your data hassle-free!

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