Creator of Antivirus Software Says Antivirus “Is Dead”

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC), the inventor of antivirus software in the 1980s and a company that depends on Norton Antivirus for 40 percent of its sales, said in a statement “The era of AV (antivirus software) only is over.”

Symantec Antivirus

Antivirus is dead, not a moneymaker

Antivirus “is dead,” Brian Dye, Symantec’s senior vice president, told the Wall Street Journal.  “We don’t think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way.  With the growing technical sophistication of hackers, Antivirus programs fail to detect nearly 55 percent of all attacks.  ‘ “Protecting your data from Internet-based threats is not an easy task – and relying on protection from Antivirus companies, no matter how established their brand, is simply not enough,” a report from RedSocks, a Netherlands-based company that specializes in malware detection, said.  Its report showed that more than 25 percent of all malicious files went undetected by antivirus software in January, February and March of 2014.

Focus is now on managing data breaches

As hackers are becoming sophisticated, the companies protecting computers are shifting strategy from prevention to managing an attack after it occurs.  Symantec, in a bid to stay relevant in the $70 billion cybersecurity industry, is joining a growing trend towards managing data breaches.  The report said Network-equipment maker Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) for example, is advising clients to place “fake data” inside their firewalls to distract hackers. Shape Security Inc., a smaller startup firm, bases its value on the premise hackers will steal passwords and credit-card numbers and thus works to make it difficult to use the stolen data. FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE) offers technology that scans networks for malicious computer code that penetrated the first line of defense. The strategy for Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) isn’t to abandon protection, but focus new product development on tools that manage the breach afterwards. “Companies need comprehensive attack prevention that integrates the full range of security technologies,” the Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) statement read. “Symantec led the first era of security with antivirus, and it continues to be an important part of our portfolio. Combined with intelligence and other technologies we are pioneering, we can solve larger customer problems that point based competitors simply cannot do.”




About the Author

Mark Melin
Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com