Antivirus is Dead, Says Inventor of Antivirus Software, Symantec

by Istvan Fekete on May 6, 2014

Antivirus is dead, says Symantec, the security company that invented commercial antivirus software 25 years ago to protect the information stored on computers from hackers, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Antivirus “is dead,” says Brian Dye, Symantec’s senior vice president for information security. “We don’t think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way.”

The main scope of antivirus software is to prevent hackers from gaining access to a user’s computer, but recently we have been reading about security breaches every day. As a result, Dye is leading a reinvention effort at Symantec that reflects a broader shift in the $70-million-a-year cybersecurity industry.

In fact, no company can offer 100% protection. Instead, they assume that hackers get in, and focus their efforts on minimizing the damage:

Network-equipment maker Juniper Networks Inc. wants customers to place fake data inside their firewalls to distract hackers. Shape Security Inc., a Silicon Valley startup, assumes that hackers will steal passwords and credit-card numbers so seeks to make it difficult to use the pilfered information. FireEye Inc. created technology that scans networks for malicious-looking computer code that made it past the first line of defense. FireEye recently paid $1 billion for Mandiant, a small firm led by former Air Force investigators who act like cyber-Ghostbusters after a data breach.

And Symantec will join these companies this week: it will launch its own response team to help hacked businesses, as it plans to sell intelligence briefings on specific threats so clients can not only get information about a data breach, but also answers as to “why”.

If you have Norton running on your computer, don’t panic; the company doesn’t plan to abandon the antivirus software. All it wants is to find revenue growth. The Norton suite has evolved beyond antivirus software and already looks for suspicious activity, and it includes useful features such as a password manager, spam blocker, etc.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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