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Antivirus vs. Firewall Software


Antivirus vs. Firewall Software

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Businesses must address the challenges of cybercrime to unleash the power of IT systems and network security. Any journey of digital transformation faces threats of remote unauthorized access, unscheduled outgoing traffic, suspicious incoming packets of information, and internal breach incidents. Companies are thus investing in IT networks with robust Firewalls and Antivirus Software to safeguard their IT infrastructure and data assets.

As the world becomes more connected 24/7 in real-time, cybercrime has evolved in various forms: external cyber-attacks, damage to systems, data breaches, and thefts, to insider access.

In such an environment of constant threat, what do businesses do to safeguard their interests? They take action before the computer network is compromised or a security breach strikes. Companies are installing the latest security systems and hiring expert professionals who work round-the-clock to avert data breaches and other cyber incidents.

The global cyber security market size, valued at USD 197.36 billion in 2020, is expected to reach USD 478.68 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 9.5%. Protecting devices, systems, and data connected to the Internet involves safeguarding hardware, software, and data from cyber criminals and fraudsters gaining access to devices and networks. A comprehensive cyber security strategy helps businesses protect their cash, assets, and intellectual property. The increase in a BYOD (bring your own devices) culture, work-from-home business models, and the IoT (Internet of Things) network has raised concerns about installing the best Antivirus software. With most users accessing the Internet and apps from mobile devices, it poses another serious threat to the users. However, awareness of the importance of Firewalls and Antivirus software can safeguard remote work practices to take businesses to the next level of transformation. 

Whether you are an Internet user or an IT professional, knowing the difference between Antivirus and Firewall Software is a valuable skill for personal safety and work. Certification in security practices is of utmost relevance to any IT practitioner and student of Computer Science.

Benefits of installing an Antivirus Software and updating your Firewall

The rapidly evolving cyber security landscape means you must be ahead of malicious attacks and breaches with robust Antivirus software. Each app or system upgrade requires a counter mechanism to block unauthorized access. So what you additionally need is continuously updated Antivirus software in addition to the Firewall to patch and optimize your network security.

An updated version has the latest features for monitoring threat perceptions in real time. Tuning and updating your security software adds to your network performance, besides enhanced security in a seamlessly connected 24/7 environment.

The damage caused by security breaches and data theft can be immense, with the potential of financially crippling the business with lawsuits and penalties. An updated Antivirus and Firewall software stands vanguard in the frontline of a network security system, guarding assets in real-time.

As every business handles critical data and financial assets, an audit trail and compliance with updated software rules have become an IT necessity. It instills customer trust, improves the company image, and boosts investor confidence.

Difference between Antivirus Software and Firewall

The difference between the quality of Antivirus software and Firewall depends upon the business needs, as each serves a specific purpose. While Antivirus software protects the file system against unwanted software/virus intrusions, a Firewall keeps prevents external access to your system at the very entry point, the router.

Before we debunk some common myths about Antivirus software and Firewalls, let us explore the two terms.

The Firewall comes inbuilt with your computer system when you purchase or install it. It is hardware and software-based monitoring and security protocol. All data packets in the network, whether entering or leaving, pass through the Firewall. The Firewall decides whether the traffic is authorized to access your systems, acting as the first line of defense.

Antivirus may or may not come with your computer systems. It is a software application in addition to the Firewall to provide security from malicious software by detecting viruses or malware, identifying the type, and removing the same. The Antivirus program installed on your computer eliminates threats that tamper with your computer systems or data. And unlike the Firewall that defends your system from external threats, the Antivirus additionally prevents internal threats.

Some of the fundamental differences between Antivirus Software and Firewalls are listed herein below:


The Firewall is embedded in both the hardware and the software, while the Antivirus is essentially a software program designed to tackle the latest threats in viruses and malware.


A Firewall is also known as a “packet filter” because it filters incoming data packets for suspicious content. As the term suggests, an Antivirus mitigates vulnerabilities in the computer system.

Type of Threats

The Firewall deals with external threats only, whereas the Antivirus tackles external and internal threats.

A Firewall checks incoming packets and blocks potentially risky ones, and Antivirus monitors and removes malicious software and suspicious files.


Firewalls monitor and filter external intrusions, while Antivirus monitor, identify, and remove any infected files and software apps.

The Firewall protects the computer system, including the hardware, from all types of malicious threats, attacks, and data breaches. Antivirus protects the systems only from virus programs and internal attacks from Trojans, spyware, and malware that intend to infect your IT infrastructure or any software with malicious intent.


The underpinning programming of a Firewall is complex as it detects and prevents attacks and intrusions of suspicious packets in real time at high speeds. Antivirus programming is simple and can even run offline.


The idea of a Firewall is to monitor network traffic to check for unauthorized intrusions of packets. It is a form of network protocol for tackling external threats. The function of an antivirus is to scan and eliminate any programs that have the potential of threat to the system.

A firewall works at a network protocol level to safeguard against any suspicious intrusive packets of information. An antivirus scans for any software program that has the potential to steal data, damage the systems or any application or install spyware and malware.


The Firewall cannot detect or remove the internal threat. The limitation of Antivirus software is its inability to check and remove read-only files.

Bottom Line

An updated Firewall can guard your network and devices against real-time cyber threats, while robust Antivirus software can integrate with business operations for system control, compliance, and risk management. Both are equally critical for the security of your hardware system, data, and applications.

Now that you have understood some of the differences between Firewall and Antivirus software, you are ready to take certification and be part of the large cybersecurity market.