Is Antivirus Software Really Dead?
According to Symantec’s senior vice president, Brian Dye, antivirus software “is dead.”
The statement by Dye was made to the Wall Street Journal as he explained that “we (Symantec) don’t think of antivirus as a money maker in any way.” This statement is quite ironic, considering that 40% of Symantec’s revenue comes from their antivirus product. Apparently, the company is focusing efforts on creating a new form of technology that will combat malicious online threats.
Online security innovations have lead developers to new and improved software that seeks out and detects online threats. Each version of software gets more secure and more innovative with every update while detecting and classifying new threats. However, on the flip side, malicious threats get more and more innovative as well. It’s like a vicious battle between good and evil, and you are in the middle of it.
Brian Krebs points out that cybercriminals have thought up a way to combat the new, innovative antivirus technology with what is referred to as a “crypting” service. This service will allow the cybercriminal’s malware to be tested against all known antivirus software to see which software programs miss the mark on detecting it as malware. If detected, the code in the malware will then be rendered unintelligible to those programs that recognized it as malicious.
While Krebs states that one may be in for a “rude awakening” by counting on antivirus to protect from the latest threats, he says it is still a necessary part of your security arsenal, which most experts will agree with. Take for instance Bitdefender’s CTO, Bogdan Dumitru who was quoted in PC Mag stating that “Relying solely on antivirus is a dead end – and it has been for at least 8 years now. But that’s like saying that aspirin is dead because it’s not the cure for cancer, AIDS, and all of humanity’s other illnesses.”
Take also Eugene Kaspersky who explained at the Kaspersky Cybersecurity Summit that “Antivirus signatures still exist, they’re still important, just not the most important. Like the seatbelt in your car, you have to have it, but it’s not the most important part.”
Antivirus software will take care of most attacks that aren’t perpetrated by the more enthusiastic, persistent cybercriminals. The bottom line is that security software will always be needed. Don’t just get rid of your software and believe the “Antivirus is Dead” hype – it will only make you that much more susceptible to online threats.