Difference Between Antivirus and Firewall

In the realm of cybersecurity, Antivirus and Firewall are two words used interchangeably. Both are used to protect the hardware and software of a computer system. 

Yet there are fundamental differences between a firewall and antivirus software

For one, a firewall is a hardware and software-based security system designed to protect and monitor both a private internet network and a computer system. While antivirus is a software program that detects and eliminates any threats that will destroy a computer system.

Difference Between Antivirus and Firewall

Keeping the context of the IAS Exam in mind we will highlight further differences between a firewall and an antivirus                                                                                                                                                     

Differences between Firewall and Antivirus

A firewall is a security network designed to protect computer systems and networks from malicious attacks.  Antivirus is is a software utility program designed to protect a system from internal attacks from viruses, trojan horse, spyware etc
The general term used for a firewall is “packet filter” because it filters any incoming data packets for suspicious contents. Antivirus identifies and corrects any weaknesses found in the computer system.
The main purpose of a firewall is to monitor network traffic and restrict any unauthorized entry The main function of an antivirus is to scan, detect, prevent and remove any existential threat to the computer system
A firewall works at a network protocol level to safeguard against any unwanted intrusion An antivirus will  only scan for any harmful programs that are present in the system such as viruses, worms, Trojans etc
One of the limitations of a firewall is that it cannot block any internal attacks and also those attacks that bypass its network coverage One of the limitations of an antivirus is that it is cannot check read-only files.
DEC SEAL was the first commercially viable firewall program that came out in 1992. Its creation was spearheaded by American computer scientists Brian Reed and Jeff Mogul. The first documented removal of a computer virus was by an actual antivirus software was in 1987 when a German computer security expert, Bernard Robert Fix, created a programme to remove a virus that had infected files in a DOS-based system

Antivirus and Firewalls are recurring concepts in the Science and Technology segment of the UPSC Exams. Aspirants can refer to the links given below for more study materials related to this segment and other allied articles:

Aspirants can find more Difference Between Articles, by visiting the linked page

Difference Between Antivirus and Firewall – Download PDF Here

Become familiar with the general pattern of the IAS Exam by visiting the IAS 2020 Syllabus page. For more exam-related preparation materials, refer to the links given in the table below:

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