7 Critical Reasons Why You Should Renew Your K7 Antivirus Subscription
If you have used any antivirus product, you will be quite familiar with prompts and reminders to renew your antivirus subscription. Renewing antivirus is not just necessary but critical to maintaining your digital safety. We will explain why, but let us first understand the threat landscape and how antivirus works (you can go directly to the ‘Why You Should Renew Your Antivirus’ section further below if you prefer to skip this discussion).
The Vast and Dangerous World of Cyberthreats
We know that computing devices get attacked, but why are they attacked? It boils down to having the power to destroy – to destroy someone else’s hard work or an opportunity they have legitimately earned. Hackers, of the black hat variety, can launch a cyberattack for a variety of reasons:
- Notoriety – The attackers don’t value your data in any way; they just want to enhance their reputation
- Ransom – They demand payment from you to allow you to access your own data. These are called ransomware attacks
- Theft – They can steal your money, your data (to be sold on the dark web), or your identity (to be used for fraudulent purposes)
- Larger Offensive – The attackers may use your device and internet bandwidth to launch attacks on others
- Cyber Warfare – Nation states may launch attacks to affect the elections, economy, or morale of another country
Cyberthreats are not limited to desktops and laptops; mobile devices are also a target of cyberattacks and the very large number of such devices increases the potential points of entry for an attacker. All these, individually and together, create a very strong incentive to launch cyberattacks which is why there are so many of them – viruses, ransomware, Trojans, webcam hacks, phishing, APTs, zero-day attacks… the list is endless. K7 Labs analyses lakhs of malware samples every day. That’s a lot of cyberthreats!
Antivirus – A Peak Under the Hood
Now that we have understood what the cyberthreat landscape is like, let us examine how antivirus works.
Antivirus is No Longer Just Antivirus
Contradictory as it may sound, antivirus software like K7 Security’s products are not just antivirus. In fact, they do a lot more than just protect you from viruses because cyberthreats have grown much beyond viruses. A hacker who tries to get into your computer is not a virus. A phishing attack is not a virus. A fake website is not a virus. But you do need to be protected against all these in addition to viruses, which is why antivirus has expanded its protective scope and is now classified as cybersecurity. For example, K7’s antivirus products for Windows also include a firewall to enhance internet security, an identity protection module to prevent identity theft, and malicious site blocking to make the web safe to use.
How Antivirus Works
There are several ways in which antivirus software can identify, detect, and prevent a cyberattack:
- Signature-based detection – Used to identify threats that are known and have been analysed. Here, the antivirus provider identifies the signature of a threat and sends this as a definition update to the antivirus software. The antivirus will look for and identify threats or events that match the signature
- Behaviour-based detection – Threats may also be unknown or known threats may be obfuscated to evade signature-based detection. In such cases, the antivirus product identifies them as threats based on their behaviour. The antivirus software’s ability to identify malicious behaviour is also continuously improved by the antivirus provider
In the age of connected everything, these capabilities have to extend to a user’s exploration of the internet. Malicious websites can deliver malware to the user’s device through a drive-by-download that does not require the user to do anything beyond loading the website. Websites may also feature highly inappropriate content. K7 Security’s Web Categorisation feature uses Machine Learning to analyse websites and categorise them for users to allow or block.
Why You Should Renew Your Antivirus
Now that we have understood the threat landscape and how antivirus works to protect you, it becomes easy to understand why a computing user’s antivirus subscription should be renewed.
1. To Receive Definition Updates
As we previously mentioned, the K7 Labs analyses lakhs of malware samples every day and we distribute multiple definition updates every day! We need to send multiple updates a day because many new threats emerge every day and we limit their window of opportunity by sending frequent updates. We’re sure you will agree that a Trojan that is designed to steal your banking credentials should be blocked immediately as it could empty your bank account quickly. If you don’t renew your antivirus, you will stop receiving these updates once your antivirus subscription ends. Every second matters in cybersecurity and receiving the latest updates is critical to staying safe from the latest viruses and threats.
2. To Receive Product Updates
Cybercriminals don’t stay still and antivirus products don’t stay stagnant. We continuously work on our products to improve efficiency and malware detection. We also introduce new features based on how cyberthreats evolve. K7 Security creates version-free products and these updates are provided free during your antivirus subscription. Renewing your subscription is a must to keep receiving these product updates.
3. To Prevent Zero-Day Attacks
The software you have installed on your device may have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. Your device, data, and network are at risk of a cyberattack if the software vendor is not aware of a vulnerability or has not yet released a patch for the vulnerability. K7 Security’s antivirus products include special protection against such zero-day attacks. Renewing your antivirus subscription is essential to staying safe until software vendors release a patch to close the vulnerability.
4. To Stop Phishing Attacks
Phishing is a form of social engineering that misleads the user into trusting the sender of the message and performing an action that is against their best interests, such as transferring money to a crook who is impersonating a known and trusted person. Phishing is a unique type of cyberattack that attacks the user rather than the device and can therefore be very effective. It is estimated that 91% of all cyberattacks begin with a phishing email. K7 Total Security, K7 Ultimate Security, K7 Mobile Security for Android, and K7 Mobile Security for iOS block phishing websites. Renew your antivirus subscription to stay safe from continuously evolving phishing attacks.
5. To Block Malicious Websites
We have already discussed K7’s Web Categorisation which uses Machine Learning to identify potentially malicious/inappropriate websites. New websites are created every day in large numbers and outdated antivirus will not protect you from newly discovered malicious websites. Renewing your antivirus subscription ensures you always have access to the latest list of dangerous websites.
In addition to these reasons, having frequently updated antivirus protection is important if:
6. You Work From Home
Working from home is becoming increasingly popular both with employers and employees. Remote working employees access enterprise data and networks through their personal devices and networks which provides an opportunity for cybercriminals to attack. Renewing your K7 antivirus subscription on time ensures that you do not provide any opportunity for a hacker to compromise your work or the organisation you work for.
7. You Are Forced to Use an Outdated Operating System
We strongly advise users not to use devices with outdated operating systems that do not receive updates from the OS provider. However, it is sometimes unavoidable to use obsolete systems. It is estimated that 24.28% of desktops still run Windows 7 which stopped receiving mainstream support in 2015 and extended support in 2020. Continuing to use such devices is very risky as new vulnerabilities will be discovered but patches will not be released by the vendor. K7 Security continues to support Windows 7 (though support will eventually end) and users of Windows 7 are urged to renew their K7 subscription and keep their antivirus updated to be cybersafe.
We increasingly depend on digital products and services, which correspondingly increase the negative consequences of a cyberattack. Up-to-date cybersecurity is vital to staying safe in the digital world and we urge you to renew your K7 antivirus subscription before expiry to never go a single second without essential cyber protection.