Creator of Antivirus Software Says Antivirus “Is Dead”

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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.”

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.”

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