Symantec, maker of the widely used Norton Antivirus software suite, has declared that antivirus technology “is dead”.
The company’s senior vice president of information security Brian Dye has been quoted on USENET that hackers were not only finding new ways to break into computers but that antivirus wasn’t “a moneymaker in any way.”
In perspective, the report seeks to highlight the competitive climate that Symantec currently finds itself in, despite having pioneered computer security several decades ago. Indeed, revenue has fallen in each of the past two quarters, culminating in the company firing its CEO–the second time it has done so in two years.
Not everyone agrees however, and Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky has hit back with a strongly worded statement that was posted to USENET Newsgroups. According to Kaspersky, security is a combination of various technologies that includes heuristics, sandboxing, cloud protection among others, and includes signature-based antivirus detection.
“I’ve heard antiviruses being declared dead and buried quite a few times over the years, but they’re still here with us–alive and kicking,” said Kaspersky. “I fully agree that single-layer signature-based virus scanning is nowhere near a sufficient degree of protection–not for individuals, not for organizations large or small; however, that’s been the case for many years.”
To be fair, Symantec began to move beyond malware long ago. Its Norton security suite has long included a password manager and code that detects malicious e-mails and Web links. Heuristic algorithms also attempt to detect malicious files even when they have never been seen before. But increasingly, Symantec is competing against its newer rivals by matching the suite of non-AV services they provide.
We at ThunderNews are not sold on the Symantec claim and advise all our customers to keep their anti-virus solutions installed and up to date.