Antivirus is not “dead”, but Symantec might soon be


The internet has been lit up today by a comment made Symantec executive Brian Dye in a Wall Street Journal article last weekend where he said that “antivirus is dead” and only catches 45% of bugs, but that is far from the case and the more interesting story may be the longevity of Symantec.

Antivirus may not be the money-maker it once was for digital security firms like Symantec with free alternatives stealing that revenue stream, but that does not mean that antivirus software does not still make up a large part of a more complete suite of tools internet users need to keep their computers safe.

Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky said in an emailed statement on Wednesday:

“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.”

He went on to say that a combination of various technologies are needed to combat digital threats, including heuristics, sandboxing, cloud protection and many others, all of which work well alongside “good old time-tested signature-based virus detection”.

However, while antivirus may be evolving into just one slice of a bigger cybersecurity pie, Semantec has been the one struggling to adapt. The company has ousted two CEOs in two years and its revenues continue to fall, with forecasters predicting that they will have fallen 5% from $1.66 billion for the quarter to $1.62 billion.

Symantec may be now trying to adapt, but this may be too little too late with activist investors already smelling blood in the water, and various reports have emerged in recent weeks about equity firms approaching Symantec with the view of breaking the company up.

Symantec may have essentially created the antivirus market, but it may not be around long enough to see its market evolve and grow.

Image by rghav222

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