Malware is a threat to your computer’s security and can infect all your devices across all platforms. It comes in many shapes and forms. Some of it is blatantly obvious, but others are insidious and infiltrate your system quietly, hidden in files, behind links, and even in apparently secure web pages.


The only way to stay safe online is by using security software to catch malware. Some anti-malware solutions are more effective than others. This article lists the differences between reactive and proactive malware protection.


What Is Reactive Malware Protection?


Reactive malware protection is a conventional approach to security. It uses a signature-based detection system to identify malware and remove it from a computer. The key here is that you already have the malware installed. Reactive malware protection detects and removes it from your computer.


The biggest challenge with this approach is that it only works after a computer already has malware installed. Because malware creators constantly change how their malware looks and acts, it may be too late for reactive malware protection to catch it in time.


What Is the Disadvantage of a Reactive Malware Protection?


It requires time for the malware to affect your computer before it can be detected and removed. Additionally, it requires an update from your security provider whenever new malware is detected, which can be as often as constantly.


Conventional malware protection is far better than no protection at all. It’s better to catch the malware than ignore it and leave your computer vulnerable. A good malware removal program can save you a lot of headaches at the right time.

What Is Proactive Malware Protection?


Proactive malware protection is a more effective approach to security. It uses behavioural blocking rather than signatures to identify malware and stop it from infecting your computer.


Behavioural blocking identifies new malware based on its activity inside your computer rather than its appearance or how it acts. It learns what is expected and recognises any deviations from that as suspicious behaviour.


Because most malware is new and has never seen before, proactive malware protection is much more effective. It can better detect and block new and dangerous malware before it can infect your computer.


What Is the Disadvantage of a Proactive Malware Protection?


The main disadvantage of proactive malware protection is that it is more prone to false positives or identifying a safe program as malware. This means you may have to take time to confirm that a program is safe before continuing to use it.


Since most malware is new and unfamiliar, even the best malware protection will cause false positives sometimes. However, it is still better to have some false positives rather than let malware infect your computer.


Reactive vs Proactive Malware: Which Should You Choose?


Because of their potential drawbacks, reactive and proactive malware protection is more effective when used in tandem than alone.


Reactive malware protection catches malware after it’s already installed. Experienced users can then decide whether they want to keep it or remove it. With reactive malware protection, you end up being able to save your safe programs or remove malware.


Proactive malware protection stops malware from infecting your computer in the first place. It is better at detecting new malware than conventional malware protection is. However, not all malware is unique, and some malware can be tricky to detect. With proactive malware protection, it’s possible to keep undesirable programs and remove malware.


When using reactive and proactive malware protection in tandem, it’s easier to get rid of the malware that the reactive malware protection misses.


A leading digital brand protection company, FraudWatch has been protecting client brands worldwide since 2003. We are leaders in online brand protection from phishing, malware, social media, and mobile apps impersonation. If you need cyber threat intelligence services for your company, get in touch with us! We guarantee security for your business.