Antivirus software for servers works in a similar fashion to antivirus software for individual computers. The types of virus protection for servers include real-time scanning, anti-spyware and malware packages, and full file scan and removal programs. Some antivirus programs run on specific server types, such as SQL and proxy servers. The majority of virus protection programs for servers actively monitor Internet traffic and file transmissions.
An important type of antivirus software for servers is real-time scanning. This type of software may be a feature inside a complete virus protection package or a stand-alone application. Real-time scanning software actively examines all files and communications that are passed through Internet and intranet communication ports. If the application detects a threat or a suspicious Internet protocol (IP) address, it blocks or quarantines it.
The settings on a real-time scanning virus program can be configured according to an organization's needs. Network administrators are typically in charge of determining what types of antivirus programs are needed. An administrator may customize a scanning application to look for specific file types and IP addresses. Most scanning applications stored on a server are able to examine all traffic on individual machines that are connected to a local or wide area network.
A popular and essential type of antivirus software for servers is an application that looks for virus programs within all stored files. Included in most of these software packages, such an application routinely examines files that already exist. Network administrators can set specific times and days for the application to run, which will also remove infectious programs from existing files. The program usually provides some sort of notification to the administrator, who may need to delete the infected files in order to completely remove the virus.
Proactive scanning applications are another type of antivirus software for servers. These types of applications scan servers for potential loopholes that may make them susceptible to intrusions. Besides just looking for potential vulnerability, these applications may provide suitable fixes that can strengthen the server's defenses against unwanted attacks.
Antivirus software for servers may be tailored to the type of server in use. Various server programs present different compatibility and security issues. For example, a virus protection program may interfere with the server's speed capabilities. SQL or structured query language servers may be at a greater risk if they are used in a public local area network or handle both e-mail and Internet traffic. For this reason, antivirus software packages that include protection against multiple avenues of intrusion may be more appropriate.