What Is Next-Gen Antivirus?

Next-gen antivirus has never been more needed.

Malware has become more sophisticated in recent years as a constant battle rages on between hackers and IT security professionals.

In recent years, traditional malware that consumers and businesses have become wary of has been replaced with things like ransomware which has exploded in popularity as a top choice for cyber criminals.

Staying ahead of these criminals has been a challenge and felt a lot like patching holes in a sinking ship. Clearly, the traditional antivirus approach is not suited for the future of cybersecurity.

Enter next-gen antivirus. This is the latest step in the ongoing battle against rapidly advancing malware and strategies used by hackers to attack users around the world. But what is next-gen antivirus other than just a fancy-sounding buzzword?

Meeting New Demands

Simply put, next-gen antivirus uses technology and strategies to provide a more comprehensive and proactive approach to malware protection.

With the increasing number of connected devices in every business, home, and pocket, there is a need to have antivirus protection on every device.

There are an estimated 31 billion connected IoT devices in 2020, up from 15 billion in 2015. By 2025, that is expected to exceed 75 billion.

But just installing antivirus software isn’t enough to provide the protection needed.

And, let’s not forget the staggeringly rapid growth of other services like cloud computing which isn’t really a physical device held in a user’s hand or sitting on their desk.

cost of a cyberattack graphic

With technologies like machine learning, cloud scanning, and data analysis; next-gen antivirus takes the traditional antivirus experience and makes it fit for the new decade.

Software has become more automated with automatic remediation and a much more user-friendly experience.

Instead of waiting for IT professionals to tackle a problem, next-gen antivirus programs are constantly learning, improving, and automatically providing solutions to some of the most serious cybersecurity problems facing the world today.

Next-Gen Antivirus vs Traditional Antivirus


Most people are quite familiar with traditional antivirus software.

Plenty of people use this software in their own personal lives or in their business operations.

Traditional antivirus software is installed but often requires individual user direction in order to take action and be effective.

Perhaps the most succinct way to explain the difference is that traditional antivirus is reactive while next-gen antivirus is proactive.

68% of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing

With traditional antivirus software, a user must initiate or schedule a scan of a device which can prove to be a time-consuming task.

Threats can only be discovered if the antivirus software is programmed to detect the infection and remediation must also be initiated by the user.

This isn’t necessarily bad, but it can prove to be an additional layer of challenge for users, especially as businesses change with technology advancements.


The volume of endpoints that exist within SMBs today is drastically higher than it was even just a few years ago—largely thanks to the Internet of Things and the implementation of BYOD policies.

A traditional antivirus software simply can’t keep up and provide the protection needed for businesses needing security from modern threats.

Here are just a few examples of next-gen antivirus characteristics:

  • Machine learning: Files are analyzed before use using an automated bot which can discover any malicious elements—all without any interruption to the user
  • Behavior analysis: Computer processes can be monitored in real-time and detect any abnormal behavior, terminating malicious processes
  • Threat intelligence: When a device encounters a threat, every other device under network will be updated to counter the danger without any need for manual input.

components of next gen antivirus graphic

Why Do I Need Next-Gen Antivirus?

The landscape of business is changing and so should your antivirus solutions. Hackers have identified small and medium businesses as prime targets for attacks.

It has been estimated that 60% of small businesses are unable to withstand significant data breaches. The costs, both monetarily and due to reputational damage, are insurmountable in many cases.

Security for businesses is not the same as it was even just a few years ago.

Dangers of the proliferation of devices

Instead of having a few devices with connections to the businesses’ important data, there could be hundreds of devices in use between laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other connected devices.

That’s a lot of potential points of attack for hackers and, worst of all, many traditional antivirus solutions may not identify a breach until well after it has occurred.

Fixing a problem after it has arisen is no longer the best method for tackling cybersecurity issues.

Instead, businesses need proactive solutions that can grow and change as their needs change. This is the ultimate benefit of next-gen antivirus.

Small and medium businesses can offload the stress and responsibility of managing antivirus software updates, scans, and management to a next-gen solution that is designed to do all of the heavy lifting itself.

The Next-Gen Antivirus Wrap Up

Is next-gen antivirus the wave of the future? All signs seem to point to yes thanks to some essential features:

  • Machine learning capabilities allow antivirus to be proactive rather than reactive
  • Changing business needs require antivirus solutions that can be adaptable and flexible
  • New technologies like cloud services require modern antivirus solutions


Impact Networking’s Managed Security program provides vital cybersecurity protection for clients, keeping their minds at ease in the knowledge that their IT infrastructure is being monitored and maintained by our security experts.  

We’ve vetted 100s of vendors to ensure that our program utilizes best-in-class solutions for our clients. In today’s landscape, a comprehensive cybersecurity program has never been more important. Learn more about Impact’s offering here.